Romanticism Essay, Research Paper
When you hear the term “Romanticism”, wouldn?t you think of something that
has to do with romance? That is what I thought when I first heard the word,
but I was foolishly mistaken. Romanticism dealt with placing central
importance upon the emotions and upon the individual. This time period only
lasted about thirty years but greatly changed the and influenced the country in
which we live in today. In the following composition, I will discuss the ideas of
Romanticism and three famous writers of this time and their distinct
subjects.The United States condensed as a nation during the major cultural
change distinguished by the shift from classicism to Romanticism. This change
had an impact on every aspect of culture including arts, philosophy, education
and science.Before all this even happened, an earlier belief known as
“Classicism” was around. This unhealthy culture put reason as their dominating
characteristic of nature and were also bound by strict unchanging laws by the
government. Now, who would want to live under this dull inexpressible culture?
Well, the early Puritans were part of this “Age of Reason” and many a good
man came out of this era. Anyway, it was time for change. People wanted to
start believing in themselves more and having a greater sense or nationalism.
This is where Romanticism came in and replaced classicism. It was the
beginning of a new era and initiated a whole new way of thinking. Romanticism
basically dealt with three attitudes: Nature, the past, and the inner world of
human nature. Although the early Romantic writers varied widely in the forms
that they chose, these certain subjects were characteristics or Romantic
attitudes.The writer who mainly told about nature was William Cullen Bryant.
He became the first national spokesperson for a new religion of nature in
which nature serves as a source of moral and spiritual lessons.One of his
famous poems, “To a Waterfowl”, tells of the journey of a waterfowl during
migration and relates that to the path in which we as humans take in our lives.
He also incorporates some religious attitudes in his works as well and you can
see this at the end of “To a Waterfowl” when he tells you that “God will lead
your steps aright” Washington Irving was a fine example of telling about the
past. He wrote many a folk tales.In the short story “The Devil and Tom
Walker” he Americanizes the devil and gives him qualities that are carried on
with him for generations. The last writer that I will discuss is Edgar Allen Poe.
Now, he is considered to be the most influential writer/poet of this time period.
Unique as they were, his thoughts and powerful writings came from his inner
self. No other writer had anywhere near the imagination as this poet did. He
used his dark gothic mind to create horrifying stories and poems such as “The
Raven”. This is his most famous poem and tells of a man torturing himself on
purpose by asking a raven questions he already knows the answers to. If you
follow Poe?s writings closely, you will see how he uses his technique to create
a whole single effect, and this is what he does so great and is known for.When
I now think of Romanticism, it gives me the feeling of freedom, and this is what
the whole purpose of the Romantic period was. It changed the way people
wrote from then on and also changed the whole lifestyle of man in my eyes.
Maybe another revolution of such beauty as this will one day cross our eyes
and we will be able to experience the radical changes and feelings as the
people of this period once did.