Nature as the Mean of Expression in Romanticism Essay
The époque of Enlightment was followed by Romanticism. It was the period of extreme changes in the world outlook. This period expressed a strong criticism of the previous one. The principles of writing and the themes had changed. The main hero of the Romantic literature was a lonely man with sensible soul and isolated from the society in terms of his perception of the reality. The period of Romanticism is characterized by its address to nature, in other words, the world was perceived through the nature.
“It is characterized by a shift from the structured, intellectual, reasoned approach of the 1700’s to use of the imagination, freedom of thought and expression, and an idealization of nature” (“Romanticism”). So, nature was the main tool of Romantic poets and writers they used in order to describe different aspects of life and human soul in particular.
Romantic writers emphasized the connection of man and nature. They looked at this connection from the moral perspective. The first person who outlined the principles of Romanticism was Jean Jacques Rousseau who said about the human freedom, sensitiveness of human soul and connection with nature: “Rousseau was to have the deepest and most lasting effect upon the self-understanding of the Romantic mind” (Travers 4).
In Britain, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, Romanticism developed very quickly and was the most expressive. Different authors revealed to nature in order to express their intentions and thoughts. Moreover, “English poets, such as Lord Byron and Persey Bysshe Shelley used nature as their inspiration. They wrote of nature being wild and without logic and their poems evoked strong feelings in their readers” (Gunderson 15).
One of the best romantic writers of England were William Wordsworth, Samuel Coliredge, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley. They used quite different respective depictions of nature, however, the one thing is common: the descriptions of nature in their works are aimed at depicting the characters, behavior, feelings and concerns of the main heroes.
Onno Oerlemans says, “I think, that Wordsworth is the most original….Wordsworth’s nature (as cycles of life, or an emblem of eternity) rarely provides the kind of relief…” In his Tinturn Abbey, he used the descriptions of nature to show the feelings of protagonist and his memories. For him, nature is the sort of eternal teacher of human. “Nature to Wordsworth is a mother-goddess who teaches the soul” (Gleckner 311), he acclaims:
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all (Wordsworth 212)
The Wordsworth’s descriptions of the Tinturn Abbey are gentle and he emphasizes that nature is the keeper of the time:
Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years, (Wordsworth 121)
At the same time, Shelley focuses on the connection of the natural processes and the way people think. He uses the comparison of the river being born in mountains with the thought being born in one’s mind:
In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
Where waterfalls around it leap forever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river 10
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves (Shelley 64)
Moreover, he uses the descriptions of a “dark valley” that produces the effect of trans on the reader. The epithets and images they create evoke deep emotions in readers. In Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, one can see the descriptions of the sea. The storm and the dead calm of the sea are the main means to reveal the essence of the story.
Moreover, the author uses the bird albatross as a metaphor that meant “the will of God” and sometimes compared with the symbol death. The images of nature in work of every author are quite different, Wordsworth describes it gently using special epithets; Shelley uses the images of nature in order to show the flow of time and his sorrow, his pictures are more dark and ferocious. Coleridge describes the sea, and even when it is calm, it still evokes horror and foreboding of evil.
One more wonderful writer of the period of Romanism is Mary Shelley with her famous Frankenstein. This writer is probably the one who used the images of nature in order to reveal every single thought and emotion of one of the main characters Victor.
The author uses natural phenomena metaphorically in order to describe Victor’s early years: “I find it arise, like a mountain river, from ignoble and almost forgotten sources; but swelling as it proceeded, it became the torrent which, in its course, has swept away all my hopes and joys” (Shelley, 21). In addition, every Victor’s emotion is connected with nature. The nature is one that helps him to survive horrible moments in his life.
To sum up it all, it should be mentioned one more time that nature and its images served as the main tool for the writers of Romanticism. They perceived the world through the nature and searched answers for eternal questions of being. Finally, all romantic writers were great masters of description.
Gleckner, Robert, Gerald E. Enscoe. Romanticism: points of view. USA: Wayne State University Press, 1974.Print
Gunderson, Jessica. Romanticism. Minnesota: Creative Education, 2008. Print
Oerlemans, Onno. Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature. London: University of Toronto Press. Inc, 2002. Print
“Romanticism.” Online Encyclopedia 2007. Microsoft Encarta, Microsoft Corporation, n. d.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. United States of America: Dover Publications, Inc, 1994
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Volume 2. BiblioBazzar, LLC, 2000. Print
Travers, Martin. European Literature from Romanticism to Postmodernism: A Reader in Aesthetic. New York NY, 2001. Pront
Wordsworth, William. The Major Works. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2000. Print
Light vs. Dark Romanticism Essay
Irving explores the theme of imagination in his story Rip Van Winkle. The author’s interest in ancient times depicts his power of imagination and the consequent impact on the readers. The readers are forced to get into the protagonist’s shoes, explore the past with him in an entirely imaginative stance. In addition to exploration of medieval times, the narrator personifies the wild creating an imaginative aura on the part of the reader.
Rip, the main character talks to the Kaatskill Mountains giving them human abilities. He tells the mountains that when the atmosphere is calm, they are dressed “in blue and purple” (38). Before falling asleep, the narrator talks about what Rip saw. In a short description, Rip saw the lordly Hudson “moving on its silent and majestic course,” the reader follows the description of what appears like a dream; the description is more of imaginable than real (43).
The character of Rip and what transpires in his life depicts the theme of imagination. Rip is described as polite, generous, kind and obedient. He is described as straightforward and good natured, henpecked by his wife, but liked by his neighbors (39). Although he is described as the “favorite among the townsfolk,” his appears as an emotionally disturbed person, possibly derived from his home predicaments.
His wife is described as a nagging person; for this reason Rip has given up with most of domestic activities because he believed that everything was going to be destroyed (39).His life is based on imaginations; he spends a lot of time day dreaming. He falls asleep, which was entirely imaginative, only to wake up after twenty years when everything has changed (53).
The theme of imagination has also been explored in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving’s imaginations and his point of view dominate his narration. As the narrator wanders through the town of the Sleepy Hollow, he is told about the Headless Horseman. He interrupts the story with his imaginations as he narrates the side story of Ichabod Crane (333). As the narration continues and Katrina is wooed by Crane, Irving interrupts and expresses his imagination about the challenging and admirable nature of women (342).
The story appeals to imagination of the audience as the physical look of the Ichabod Crane. It is stated that the last name, Crane, matched with his looks. He is also described negatively as a poor singer and a rumormonger. The description of the Headless Horseman is meant to cause fear, although it is very imaginative.
The imagined shadows and shapes at nightfall are described as frightening to lonely people. The competition between Crane and Bones captures the reader’s imagination. Bones is described as strong and a complete opposite of Crane.
The war and ghost tales told by men after the dance are totally imaginative. The encounter between the Horseman and Bones (351) and the encounter between the Horseman and Crane (355) are imaginations, arguably meant to show their personalities. After Crane disappears, the townsfolk are unable to find his body and therefore believe that he was taken away by spirits or supernatural means; this is Irving’s way of depicting the theme of imagination (358).
The theme of imagination is effectively portrayed by Ichabod Crane, the protagonist in the story. Crane has moved to Sleepy Hollow from his hometown, Connecticut, to embark on a teaching career. His description creates a sense of imagination; he is tall, excessively lank with long legs and long arms.
The narrator creates a sense of humor when he states that his hands dangle a long distance out of their sleeves. His entire body frame is said to be loosely hung together and his feet might be substituted for shovels. His head is described as comparatively small, flat at the top with exceedingly huge ears.
His eyes are said to be green in color and glassy coupled with a long nose. A sense of humor is created when it is stated that his head was like a weather-cock on his thin neck to detect the wind’s direction. The writer uses metaphorical comparisons and humor to give a description of his character and appearance. The reader is left with a lot of imagination and this creates more suspense as the story unfolds.
Crane is said to be superstitious; he has a strong inclination to mythical ideas, legends and ghostly tales. His character and inclinations are based on total imagination since myths can only be imagined, legends are passed from one generation to another and ghosts are invisible and therefore, only imagined.
His decisions in life are affected by superstitions, and ultimately shape his character and fate. Although Crane is skinny, he is described as greedy with a voracious appetite. Crane’s plans are mostly based on imagination and day dreaming. He is very opportunistic; he thrives on befriending and dining at the homes of his students. At some instance, he befriends and eventually proposes to Katrina, a rich woman from a wealthy Van Tassel family. His intentions are to eventually marry Katrina so that he can inherit wealth from her family.
Crane’s powerful sense of imagination causes his downfall. His obsession with legends, ghosts and myths makes him believe in unreal things. His imaginations lead him into believing that he was going to marry Katrina and to inherit from her family. He is lost into his imaginations and finally, he is unable to face his realities. His downfall is caused by his fantasies which make him unable to work hard for Katrina. His beliefs in Ghosts and mythical tales makes him susceptible to Bone’s tricks, he is eventually defeated.
In my opinion and concerning the theme of imagination, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is better suited to communicate with the reader that Rip Van Winkle. The theme of imagination is better established and the fate of the main character is well comprehensible and serves to give a lesson. The reader can better identify with the character of Crane than the character of Rip who slept for twenty years.
The lessons from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are clearly portrayed by the themes, the plot and the characters. The story warns against the strong power of imagination and the consequences of allowing fantasies to overcome realities.
The author seems to express his opinion that it is better to imagine something better than to face something bad. Crane derives a lot of happiness and fulfillment from his imaginations; he therefore chooses imagination instead of reality. However, both stories are characteristically belonging to the romanticism due to emphasis of awe, apprehension, nature and horror (Baym 98).
Baym, Nina. The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vols. A & B. 8th Edition. New York: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np), 1998.
Irving, Washington. The Legend of the Sleeping Hollow and Other Stories in The Sketch Book. Ed. Perry Miller. New York: Signet Classics, 1961.
History of Romanticism Report (Assessment)
What is Romanticism?
Romanticism refers to the period of intellectual, artistic and literary movement in Europe in the first half of nineteenth century. This movement was a vivid response to the Industrial Revolution, as well as a revolt against existing political and social norms (Gunderson 38). Romanticism was an ideological system that criticized rationalistic nature of assumption.
Therefore, the priority was given to the development of visual arts, literature, music, and natural sciences. Romanticism had a potent impact on political life, leading to the development of radical and liberal view on governance.
Romanticism is characterized by free expressions of emotions and feeling, which is often exposed in literature, artistic works, and science. The significance and nature of Romanticism is also analyzed by German artist Caspar Friedrich and poet William Wordsworth. The supporters of the Romantic Movement point to the spontaneous and irrational display of powerful emotions and feeling that allow humans express themselves.
In terms of artistic representation, the emphasis should be placed on imagination as the major source for creating artistic works whereas artificial rules should be ignored. Additionally, the representatives of Romantic Movement attained much importance of genuineness and originality of ideas and thoughts.
Why is the 19th Century Called The Romantic Era?
The nineteenth century is called the Romantic Era because describes a historical and cultural movement characterized by aesthetic style and attitude toward art, literature, and science. In artistic sphere, romanticism was a protest against the neoclassical search for intellectual control and order (Gunderson 16).
A human, therefore, should be guided by sense and intuition rather than by logic and reasoning. Finally, people should be free from dogma dictated by the Church. In literature, Romantic Movement can be perceived as a shift in Western mythological trends in portraying heroes. In fact, real hero with ordinary abilities and skills prevailed instead of focus on supernatural phenomenon.
The movement features strong emotion as a powerful tool for expressing aesthetic experience, with an emphasis placed on such emotional states as horror, apprehension, and awe that were especially encouraged during that time. In artistic field, painters focused on picturesque representation of natural landscapes, as well as naturalized interpretation of human activities. Despite the fact that movement originates from Europe – the cradle of scientific discoveries – it supported prevalence of emotion and intuition over rational approaches practiced during the era of Enlightenment.
Is Being Romantic Different Today from that in19th Century?
In modern times, the concept of Romanticism has not been changed when it comes to the core concepts and outlooks. At the same time, there are certain shifts in terms of the creation of marginal movements and various streams within this ideology. It should also be stressed that Romanticism has largely been affected by technological progress and innovation and, therefore, the modern supporters of this movement fight against spread of state-of-the-art technologies because destruct humans and nature.
Usually, ‘romantic’ minds usually possess a progressive mind and, therefore, these people are not afraid of expressing ideas that differ radically from the well-acknowledge ones. Additionally, being romantic is still associated with absence of knowledge. Instead, the emphasis is placed on imagination and unlimited self-expression.
Within the context of the rapid development of consumerist culture, it can be stated that Romanticism has played a crucial role in advancing the industrialization process due to the straightforwardness of the ideas. At the same time, the modern Romanticism stands apart from technological and industrial development because it is now regarded as a socio-cultural movement representing pieces of art and literary work.
Do Men and Women Have Different Ideas about What Is Romantic?
Psychologists would definitely argue that males and females feel differently due to the peculiarities of their nervous systems. Indeed, both men and women refer to different forms of romantic attachments, particularly when it comes to romantic relationships. In this respect, multiple research studies prove that men are prone to be les anxious and more avoidant as compared to women (Erdman and Ng 211).
When men become attached to relationships, they tend to create distance to be on the save side and make things easier. In fact, they ignore romantic attachments and feelings. In contrast, women tend to be more anxious. Being attached increases their anxiety and therefore, close relationships could be more disruptive for women in emotional terms, as compared to men. In this respect, it can be concluded that women are more prone to be romantic because they are not afraid of expressing their feelings whereas men are expected to use reason to take control of the situation.
Is Romanticism Universal or Do Different Cultures Have Different Ideas?
When it comes to the different views on romanticism in various cultures, the focus should be on the concept of collectivism and individualism, as well as on low-context and high-context cultures. In this respect, Western countries, in which the priority is given to individualism and low-context dependence, romanticism is closely associated with freedom of self-determination and expression of ideas (Erdman and Ng 215).
In Eastern countries, which are characterized by individualism and high-context environment, people are less oriented toward romanticism because individuals are highly affected by traditions, rituals, and customs that restrict human freedom to express their emotions freely.
Erdman, Phyllis, and Kok-Mun Ng. Attachment: Expanding the Cultural Connections. US: Taylor & Francis. 2010. Print.
Gunderson, Jessica. Romanticism. US: The Creative Company, 2008. Print.
Feminism builds up in romanticism, realism, modernism Essay
The evolution witnessed in the realm of literature provides us with a broad perspective regarding what the world is up to. Through diverse aspects the evolution in literary works reflects the changes anticipated in the society.
Hence, the development of such dynamics as romanticism, modernism and postmodernism, these dynamics are well illuminated in Charles Bronte’s classic, Jane Eyre.
Exploring the significance of the theme as well as the motifs of this piece, it becomes essential to understand that the era of modernism injected individualism in the literary works. Hence, looking at the nature and the content of the book we find that the author has attacked the book from a biblical perspective (Gardner 70).
This is testified by the manner imagination is tied to idolatrous anticipation as well as eschatological desires. In essence, the novel arouses imaginations, which are seen to be informed by the forces of extreme romanticism, images of quest as well as incidents of fire and feelings.
The creative energy thus exploits the excesses of romantic imagination molded by evangelical theology. In essence, Bronte’s biblical engagement does not only touch on simple imagination, but also demonstrates its potential obligation in shaping the future.
And this entails defining and explaining the space attained by women during the Victorian era. These aspects are thus presented as the core factors that drive Jane Eyre (West 59).
Therefore, the author dwells on diverse aspect which holds biblical comprehension of what is perceived to be imagination, its direction and nature which are two aspects tied to the heart.
Hence, the novel seems to dwell on the platform of rejecting idolatry while relying on the structural context of accepting imagination. The approach gives the novel a profound distinction considering that Bronte assumes romantic imagination and appreciates the eschatological dispensation which is founded on the biblical theology.
As is exported by the pundits of romanticism and modernism this novel greatly touches on the broads scope of both romanticism and modernism. This can be attributed to the fact that the author employed the distinct approach of moving away from the traditional concepts.
By exploring the concept of idolatry we are presented with a suggestion that the conventional approach can no longer sustain the desires of the greater community. Therefore, looking at the authors attempt to examine the theme of idolatry which she achieves by exploring the narrative of the theme biblically.
The dispensation is thus employed to investigate the positive role of passion and imagination as core features of desire. From such a stance we are thus given an opportunity to see Jane imagining and subsequently following a distinct path not defined by poverty, pain or the circumstances of her childhood.
Therefore, the central images explored touches on the scope of God and man. While on the other hand imagination is painted as being bridge linking the created world, man and God.
Looking at the manner the author involves the use of motif and images it becomes apparent that the content of the novel is rooted in the society. As is evident with diverse attributes of romanticism and modernism, the way the novel is linked to the aspects explored within the biblical realm.
It is thus instrumental to point that idolatry is a sensitive subject that has grown from very beginning. These are demonstrated by the manner the author touches on the aspects affecting the women space during the Victorian period and are also evident today.
Basically, the novel is thus an element which is etched in the norm as a core exemplification of the romantic as well as feminist imagination. The author thus substitutes the human affection and adoration for a conventional religious dependence upon the almighty.
Hence, in the novel Jane and Rochester discovers their total satisfaction from each other. Concerning the feminist writings and readings, the novel presents Jane’s passionate assertion of liberty and unwillingness to compromise the integrity of personality via relationships with powerful individuals she comes across.
Hence, the author asserts, “Is there not love in my heart, and constancy in my resolves? It will expiate at God’s tribunal. I know my Maker sanctions what I do” (Showalter 255).
Looking at Toni Morrison’s novel, Sula we find that the novel shares certain feministic features with the Bronte’s classic, Jane Eyre. The centrality of the themes in the two novels offers a considerable consideration of woman space. This touches of the feministic liberty and free will to positive personality.
It ought to be noted that where Bronte explores the aspects of idolatry from feministic approach as is presented during the romantic period. Morrison’s touches also on a similar though distinctive theme.
By employing the usage of such historical images as birds, fire and water, He provides a biblical symbolism allied to these images. It is thus instrumental to assert that during the romanticism era feminism was gradually being recognized. Even though, this was being done from a religious perspective.
From biblical perspective, water, birds as well as fire play symbolic roles which are essential in the very survival of society. Hence, looking at the manner these images have been exploited, they present an image that shows love is as tradition a subject of imagination. Too, this establishes that romance is personal.
Therefore, the raise of romanticism thus opens a new door for feminism to develop under the scope of dealing with indivialism. Generally, feminisicm flourishes on the elements of individualism. By moving away from the common aspects of story telling,the authors touches on the subject of individualism.
Consider for instance the bond between Sula and Nel. The relationship illustrates the attributes apparent in the evolving platform of feminisms. And this is also the very aesthetic explored in Jane Erye. Therefore, in regard to the objectives of the motifs and imageries employed it would be instrumental to argue that the novel examines the intricacy of building individualism.
The approach is detached from the such dynamics as modernism but more so linked to feministic which advocates for individualism and feministic liberty.
Morrison’s examines the aspects of building relationships, he touches on sensational imagination. More so, he attempts to delve into the dynamics of leaving in ones dreams. By examining the intricate aspects of romance, he casts a foreshadowing dimension on the life of the protagonists.
From such a point of analysis, we find the profound line followed by the protagonists in their search for a satisfying romantic life.
The story of Nel and Sula reflects the very attributes examined by Bronte in his novel Jane Eyre. Individualism becomes a subject that most readings and writings regarding feminisms touches on. The way Sula opts to follow a divergent social route presents a vivid picture of how this concept is compactly interwoven.
On the other hand, Nel opts to obey the biblical edict of marrying and equally raise her own family. The fate separating the two women can be singularly defined as selfishness. Though, on a subtle social or religious configuration they are essential, the similarity of the two novels provides a critical focus on the significance of feminisms.
The comparison of the two novels is tied to the aspects of imagination and individualism. Examining the manner the authors employs the aspects of companionship we find that the natural aesthetics that bring two people together are typically abused.
Therefore, the dynamics of feminisms are thus brought forth as the core factors that shape the women involved. The two stories reflect the religious factors revolving around the axis of unity, love and faith. However, the manner the explanation is offered is symbolically lacking in the biblical convictions of patience.
More so, examining the period the two works were published one cannot failure to note that the scope of feminism was in the process of building up.
It is from such observations that the aspects of romanticism and modernism provide a profound direction on the manner feminism having taken a profound edge in the literary and social realm. This is due to the fact that feminism explores the feminine freedom and more so shed light on the space of woman in the society.
Looking at the manifestations of romanticism, realism projects at the aspects of the life as they appear in our everyday life. Therefore, it would be thus essential to point that the emergence of feminism is more linked to the aesthetics of romanticism.
Consider that the manner the two authors have argued in regard to their imagined subjects. The modern society may reject the way these women carried themselves (Hartt 111).
Hence, the modern challenges facing the evolution of feminism. It ought to be noted that on the religious or biblical context, individual are either expected to be good or evil, to serve God or devil. Such observations provide a controversial question concerning the explosion of feminism.
Therefore, the comparison between the Bronte’s novels with Morrison’s classic reflects the nature of feminism as explored in diverse literary works. Though, both works have attempted to touch on the theological symbolism it is thus essential to state feminism is essential.
Despite the impact of realism, romanticism has remained to be the driving force behind the development of feminisms. This is due to the fact that aesthetics of romanticism are extremely evident in feminism (Eisenmann 23). Therefore, as the two authors proves the dynamics of biblical explanations offers critical motifs and themes for enhancing the dissimilar elements of human individuality
The imagery, symbolism, motifs as well as the themes examined in the mentioned novels offers a critical insight into the development of feminism.
From the period of romanticism to the wake of modernism and realism, feminisism has continued to be etched on romanticism more than is on modernism. This can be linked to the fact that romanticism is more individual centered and is also allied to imaginations which are in a way philosophical.
Eisenmann, Stephen. Nineteenth Century Art, A Critical History. Thames and Hudson, 2002.
Gardner, Helen. Art through the Ages.NY: Harcourt ,2000.
Hartt, Frederick. Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams,2000.
Showalter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004.
West, Shearer. The Bullfinch Guide to Art. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2003.
Between Romanticism and Modernism Essay
In contemporary times, the term romanticism when it comes to music refers to that period roughly between 1810 and 1900 when there was a revival for the need to listen to ‘medieval’ music. It is interesting to note that though this may be the case, historians are yet to agree on the actual time when this music was rekindled.
Certainly, there is evidence that the ‘romantic era’ began before 1810. E.T.A Hoffman, a German romantic music critic, often referred to Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Mozart as romantic composers. Ludwig van Spohr seemed to corroborate this argument in his analysis of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony as a true romantic art. However, music historians have termed the three as classical composers and not romantic artists.
Modernism on the other hand refers to that period after 1900 when there was a departure from the past in all matters art, religion, science and politics. The first of the modernists in music sought to begin new dimensions and depths in music through the use of non-conventional instruments and novel sounds.
Modernists such as Luigi Russolo contemplated a future in music where even factory noises would be considered musical. Edgard Varese was among the first modernists to adopt new music techniques with his ‘Poeme Electronique’ (electronic poem).
The difference between the two schools of thought though quite clear had some merged issues that involved the rekindled need for romantic music in the modern age in what is referred to as neo-romanticism. In fact, modernism has received wide criticism from audiences for its efforts to avoid comprehensiveness when it comes to performance compared to romantic works that used less semantic density and more of harmonious melody to achieve comprehension in the audience.
Though modernists have brought in new talent and novel instruments such as electronic guitars and keyboards, the romantic era had what could be called ‘pure’ music where there was emphasis on instrumentals as well as vocal music. The modernist age tends to raise the latter over the former.
Indeed the need for the so called ‘real’ music has created the beginning of a neo-romantic age. Modernists are turning to the use of traditional instruments and soloist performances in the characteristic styles of virtuosi such as Niccolo Paganini and Franz Liszt.
The early 19th Century romantics brought music to new dimensions. These talents introduced novelties such as iron-framed pianos and metal-stringed instruments thus enhancing acoustics with more virtuosity and tonal colour. The introduction of developments such as long compositions, programmed titles and new genres in romanticism such as tone poems, concert overtures, rhapsodies and virtuosic concertos made the romantic era musicians lovable to their audiences. Music was harmonious, passionate and chromatic (colorful).
Modernists brought about the expansion of tonality. Music composers who brought about these great changes were Schoenberg, Strauss, Mahler and Debussy. The concept of polytonality was introduced and expanded by talents such as Paul Hindemith, Darius Milhaud and Ives.
Other changes were later to come through Arnold Schoenberg’s with his 12 tone technique. Serialism in music was thereafter introduced by the Frenchmen Pierre Boulez and Milton Babbitt. Another great change would be Charles Seeger’s dissonant counterpoint which was improved in the high dissonance technique by talented modernists Ruth Crawford and Carl Ruggles.
Comprehensiveness in music and tonal depth was one of the liberated aspects of the modernist age. Artists like Gustav Mahler brought it to new heights with the concept of ‘universal music.’ These were not the only developments in modernism as brilliant composers such as Iannis Xenakis, a young Greek composer introduced mathematical concepts into music composition introducing a new dimensional approach.
Other contributions to modernism include the extension techniques of percussion and piano orchestras by musical maestros John cage and Lou Harrison, Harry Partch’s ensemble for microtonal music and equal temperaments by Alois Haba, which was an improvement of the 12 tone technique by Schoenberg.
It is however of importance to note that though romanticism has been associated with the 19th Century, it is not the age that defines the music but the ‘character’ of the music. Perhaps this is the reason why historians cannot seem to fully agree on the line between romanticism, post-romanticism and modernism. While romanticism represented the past and was mostly naturalist, modernism introduces novelty and is somewhat positivist or realist and a departure from previous schools of thought.
The classical period mostly had had music that was reflective of various artistic and geniuses of the time such as Mozart. Their influence on the romantic ideals and musical framework was thus phenomenal and thus music was taken as an abstract art that was universal in nature and brought about beauty in life itself. However, it mostly represented the elite view of the world and was mostly much controlled. The romantic age however saw an emancipation of music and was neither constrained by thought or form.
It is notable that this was a time in which other fields such as politics and science had also been liberated and thus the music of the time was more of freedom and its joys and that is why most romantic compositions were lively, joyous, personal and hopeful. Indeed this reflected the emotion of the time.
The nationalization of music also began at this stage. Composers were keen to reflect their own culture and nationality in their music. This was a revolt of some sought from the immense German influence on 19th Century music causing great composers such as Carl Weber, Richard Wagner, Dvorak, Grieg, Verdi and Rimsky-Korsakov to prefer their national folk tunes as a way to express their culture and patriotism.
This concept of nationalistic music was continued into the post-Romantic period i.e. the late 19th century. In England for example, composers such as Gustav Holst and Vaughan Williams were the produced some of the most popular folk-classical music in England. Similarly, in the U. S, composers like Ives, Gershwin and Aaron Copland produced nationalistic compositions that reflected purely American styles.
Modernists however have not adopted this view of music. They still trumpet the universality of music with artists choosing to make music that appeals to all humankind. It is not lost on modernists that globalization has reduced the world to a village and that it is part of the ordinate senses of human beings to love and enjoy music across the board. Again, this view is reflective of the mind-set of people in modern times which emphasizes the point that music has grown alongside other disciplines.
Romantic era music was descriptive, analytical and programmed and artists were held in high regard as shapers of thought. This was unlike the classical era of Mozart where music was abstract and generally taken as entertainment.
Again due to the restrictions of the time, artists could not convey their true feelings freely due to the stranglehold of the society by the elite. Modernists on the other hand have taken music to another level. Music here is mostly expressive, free of control, full of intonation and socially conscious. However, programme music is not as common.
We can there conclude by stating that the main difference that characterizes the romantic and the modern era is the change of people’s mind-sets and the restructuring of society. Music then had to conform to this free and liberal society that needed to express itself after coming from very dark times (i.e. the world wars and various revolutions). However, romantic music is finding its way back into modern society and a society that had prided itself in being novel, finds itself with an insatiable appetite for the music of old.
Ethnocentrism, Romanticism, Exoticism, and Primitivism as Depicted in James Cameron’s “Avatar” Explicatory Essay
Ethnocentrism refers to the way a given group of individuals critiques another, using its own culture as point of reference. In most cases, ethnocentrism is regarded as the belief that one’s culture is superior to another or is the most preferred compared to the one being reviewed (Lundberg, 2001).
Ethnocentric individuals feel that their culture and way of life are better than those of other people. For this reason, ethnocentrism is seen as a negative practice that consists of two main problems; prejudice and racism (Diamond, 1994).
Ethnocentrism is depicted in most scenes of Avatar; the film outlines Na’vi’s ways of life and the way the protagonist is forced to profess the culture before being admitted into the community. Ethnocentrism in the movie is also seen in Jake Sully when he judges Na’vi’s culture using his own culture. Sully is stopped from swatting the trees as they are considered as spirits in accordance with the Na’vi culture.
The concept of romanticism does not only include the aspect of love as many people would think; it also includes other aspects such as symbolism and mythology.
Symbolism and mythology are accorded great importance in romanticism. The two aspects are highly valued in romanticism because they can be used to value individualism and appreciate nature, without applying the one-to-one communication used in parables (Lutz & Collins, 1993).
There are a number of characteristics of romanticism, which are depicted in the film Avatar. The elements of romanticism that are heavily featured in Avatar include the positive reception towards nature, the preference of emotion as opposed to logic, and considering individuality, a valuable thing.
Sully, the main character, tries to bond with the Na’vi people to lure them to issue their land to humans. However, this changes when Sully finds the culture of the Na’vi people more interesting than his. He decides to follow his heart and what he feels is right for him to do.
The concept of exoticism refers to a tendency of some ethic groups, especially those seen to be more powerful, to influence how people live in a given area. The concept can be expressed as a presentation of culture of a given group of people to be used by another one whose culture is seen to be inferior.
Exoticism may be presented in form of humanism, ethnocentrism, or primitivism. Exoticism in films and other literary works is linked to the desire for wealth (Malinowski, 1961).
There are several elements of exoticism in the film Avatar; firstly, Sully, who is the main character, easily embraces the life style of the Na’vi people. Sully finds the Na’vi culture endearing given that it encourages all the species to co-exist in peace and harmony with each other and the environment; consequently, he decides to leave his own culture.
Secondly, the other humans are persuaded by Sully to adopt the culture of the Na’vi people since it is regarded as the best. However, most of them refuse to give in to the request and continue living according to their own culture.
The concept of primitivism is used to denote simplicity in behaviour or one’s way of life. The concept encourages people to live a life without unnecessary complications. The concept is also used in referring to the artistic acts that originate from enlightenment (Torgovnick, 1991).
The film Avatar is entirely based on historical allusions, which explain how people relate to the world around them. The Na’vi people seem to appreciate leading simple lives and tend to attach great importance to things that other people would consider meaningless. For instance, the Na’vi people consider trees as spirits and feel that the trees should be protected from any kind of harm.
In conclusion, the film Avatar clearly depicts ethnocentrism, romanticism, exoticism, and primitivism. The four concepts are portrayed in the film’s setting and the behaviours portrayed by the main actor, Sully, as well as the Na’vi people.
Diamond, J. (1993). Race without colour. Discover Magazine, 82-89.
Lundberg, A. (2001). Being lost at sea: Ontology, epistemology and a whale hunt. Ethnography, 2(4), 533-556.
Lutz, C. A., & Collins, J. L. (1993). Reading national geographic. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Malinowski, B. (1961). Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An account of native enterprise and adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
Torgovnick, M. (1991). Gone primitive: Savage intellects, modern lives. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Art influences Culture: Romanticism & Realism Essay
This essay shows that the relationship between romanticism and realism arts. It shows how realism originated as a reaction to romanticism. In addition, the paper also highlights issues of the time and influences of the later works on the art world.
Art has provided new genres in history based on the prevailing social conditions in society. The trend has continued today among people interested in the field of arts. From the past, there are romanticism and realism genres that exist to explain events of the two periods.
These two genres refer to similar subjects in human society, but adopt different views in portraying their subjects. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the relationship between romanticism and realism. Romanticism presented a perfect world with supernatural power, whereas realism originated from reality in which characters and settings were elements of the real world.
Romanticism gained recognition in the middle of the 18th century. This genre of literature explored the unknown, and it did not adopt rational approaches to literature.
Instead, it presented the world as a perfect and strange place in which there was no imperfection. Romantic Movement reacted to changes that the Industrial Revolution had brought as people began to explore the unknown in society. Romanticism aimed to establish the unknown truth.
Romanticism presented the world as an ideal place in which the hero had all the desirable positive qualities. Conversely, the villain possessed undesired negative traits.
This genre adopted the use of metaphorical elements in order to present the unknown. In other words, nothing was obvious, and people had to explore further in order to understand the true meaning of an event. Romanticism literature had thrilling and mysterious elements.
These features of romanticism dominated literary works of the time. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a good example of romantic art. Emily uses the Earnshaw family, especially Heathcliff and Catherine as the epitome nature (Eagleton, 2005).
These characters do not observe ideals of the society, but rather acted based on influences of their passions. Conversely, Thrushcross Grange represents the culture of the society at the time.
Realism reached its peak towards the end 18th century and extended to the early 19th century. This form of art focused on reality rather than fantasy of the romanticism. In this regard, realism was a reaction to romanticism.
Realism presented events of the society as they happened in reality. This form of art did not capture any extraordinary events, and it did not rely on a glorified language, but rather used simple language in representing events. Artists of realism based their works on obvious concepts of life.
Therefore, realist writers did not embellish their works in order to hide gory themes in society, and in most circumstances, they did not present happy solutions to their readers.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert reflects the true nature of realism because Flaubert always insisted on finding the precise word to reflect reality of society. In fact, James Wood notes, “Flaubert established for good or ill, what most readers think of as a modern realist narration, and his influence is almost too familiar to be visible” (Wood, 2008, p. 39).
These genres have transformed society in all aspects. Realism and romanticism brought about changes in thought processes of later artists. Contemporary artists have adopted realist approaches in order to present events of the modern society. Moreover, such works inspired later artists who fully or loosely based their works on past literary movements.
Eagleton, T. (2005). Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wood, J. (2008). How Fiction Works. New York: Picador.
Romanticism and the Modern Theatre Essay
Effects of the revolutions on Romanticism
Romanticism emerged as a result of the revolutions in America and France in the 1700s. Romantic playwrights got their inspiration from these uprisings and rose against dominant forms of drama. They created a new form of drama that engaged imagination, inner feelings, and emotions.
These revolutions aroused the need for ordinary citizens to fight for their rights, social change, and refute human limitations. Artists, therefore, wrote plays that used ordinary language, imagination, emotions, and optimism. These plays also advocated for individualism.
Differences between modern theatre and earlier forms of drama
Modern Theatre is very different from other forms of theatre that preceded it. Forms of drama that existed before modern drama were majorly religious, and their characters were kings, queens, and other wealthy people. They gave little attention to ordinary people. Modern Theatre discarded these elements and involved ordinary people in their plays. The statement by the Romantic writer confirms the need to involve ordinary people in the theatre.
Themes in Goethe’s Faust
The theme of limitlessness is one of the themes that come out of Goethe’s play. He is not satisfied with the things God gives to human beings. He wants an enjoyable and entertaining life. This desire for a good life leads him to sell his soul to the devil.
The other Romantic theme in Faust is optimism. Faust is supposed to go to hell, but God pardons him and allows him to go to heaven. This act agrees with the Romantic artists’ tendency to write optimistic works.
The relationship between Faust and the devil in Goethe’s play is different from that in the traditional myth. In the traditional myth, Satan gives some of his powers to Faust, but in Goethe’s Faust, Satan provides Faust with everything he desires.
Faust falls in love with a woman, Gretchen, but she later dies. Faust’s relationship with her is very significant because it frees him from dependence on Satan, especially when Gretchen refuses to leave prison. She, therefore, helps Faust attain his salvation.
Other events that influenced Romanticism
The other two historical developments that influenced Romanticism were the Humanism development and the industrial revolution that led to social classes. The Humanism Theory asserted the capability of human beings to stand on their own without religion.
The social classes developed as a result of the industrial revolution. There were the ruling class and the poor subjects who worked in industries. These classes are evident both in Faust and Woyzeck. Woyzeck is a poor man, just like Faust. It is poverty that drives Faust into selling his soul to the devil and makes Woyzeck participate in an unethical experiment that causes him to be insane.
Romanticism vs. Neoclassicism
A Romantic play would be more appropriate for today’s audience compared to a neoclassic one. This century is a century of technological advancement, and a play involving imagination would be more relevant than one involving rules, verisimilitude, purpose, and fairness as was with neoclassic drama.
Faust would be more appropriate for performance in front of a modern audience. The desire for a good life makes Faustus sell his soul to the devil. This theme would be very relevant to today’s audience because of the greed for money among people. These days, people are doing everything, good or bad, to get money. Some people have even joined Illuminati and sold their souls, just like Faustus sold himself to the devil in exchange for wealth.
If I were to play Faust for today’s audience, I would remove the parts acted in heaven and set the whole play in a city where people struggle to get wealth. I would also set the play on earth to where Satan would meet Faust, a poor man, and persuade him to serve him and get enough wealth to last all his life.
Faust would readily agree to this proposal, and Satan would give him the responsibility to recruit other people into the service of Satan in exchange with their souls when they die. This play would appropriately lampoon the desires of people in the contemporary world to amass money at any price.
Nineteenth Century Romanticism Research Paper
The nineteenth century begun with a unique intellectual life and a spirit of aestheticism and creativity that enriched it. The works of early composers, writers, painters, and poets evolved from the onset, and in the increased quest for perfection, a spirit of romanticism was born (Schmidt, 2000). The classical romantic mindset stemmed from the early modern culture, although, between 1800 and 1850, this spirit played significantly in championing the political landscape of the time. Many issues fall within the study of romanticism itself, though as a process of intellectual want, observers reckon that romanticism was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution (19th Century Romanticism in Europe, 2013).
Moreover, it is possible to identify this period with its embodiment to a new aesthetics in which literary themes thrived. This spirit was further preoccupied with the moral concepts as well as the epistemological significance of the thinking, imagination, and feeling of the time. The spirit of romanticism advanced a distinctive notion of place and individual while stressing on the ideals of community and commonality of purpose.
The geographical setting and timeline of romanticism
Romanticism first gained footing in the early decades of 1800s as an artistic expression in Europe. France and Britain particularly flourished within this spirit until mid-century when romanticism begun to spread to other parts of the world. Contextually, it is from the scholars and historians of German and English literature that the 21st generation of scholars extracts the convenient timeline of the Romantic epoch, beginning somewhere in the 18th century and ending in mid-19th century (Greenblatt, 2011).
Virtually, the Romantic era run from 1798 to 1850, though, as a universal movement in its quest to transform popular culture, Romanticism dates back to 1770s, and spilled over to the second half of the 19th century. This means that America embraced it much later in its literature as compared to the continental Europe. The same observation also applies to the inception of some of the art genre within the American context like painting, music, and literature. In sum, Romanticism offers a most extended chronological timeline that runs between 1770 and 1870 (19th Century Romanticism in Europe, 2013).
With its emphasis on the ideals of community and commonality of purpose, Romanticism grew out as a rejection to the prevailing Enlightenment values that caused great disillusionment. The aftermath of the 1789 French Revolution further increased the agitation of this spirit with many populations in Europe seeking to expunge the myth of their generations’ apathy.
Individuals’ contribution in the spirit of romanticism
Though often attributed to a movement against Neoclassicism, the spirit of Romanticism stemmed from the early works by artists, composers, and poets most. Special tributes go to Jacques Louis David’s studio that guaranteed training to early compatriots including Baron Antoine, Thomas Cole, Anne-Louis, and Jean Ingres (Romanticism, 2013).
The individual contribution of these compatriots was immense and limitless in nature. Their blurring stylistic ambience and plenty perhaps best articulated in Ingres’ work, the Apotheosis of Homer in Paris. Particular recognition usually goes to some scholars of the time whose poetic contribution endeared them to the tides of this epoch. The artistry of English scholars such as William Blake and Robert Burns as well as their German counterparts Schiller and Goethe significantly swayed the foundation and shaped the trajectory of the Romantic Movement. Throughout Europe, Rousseau’s writings were equally remarkable and such classical works of art made romanticism to spread in America with preferential ease (Kreis, 2009).
Such archetypical artistic expression polarized the American public alongside the quest for change. While the work of most of these contemporaries embodied the systematics of the quest for community appeal and commonality of purpose, much of their works draw from the spirit of artistic intellectualism.
Romanticism in America
In America, romanticism stimulated a shift from the ordinary ideals in democracy, civil liberties, opportunities, and a conviction in the limitless of the unyielding possibilities in the change progression. Romanticism as Kreis (2009 notes, was in itself part of the American change progression that marked a shift in cultural shrewdness that trickled over to early 21st century. In America, romanticism begun in 1830, ending only after the American Civil War, many celebrate this epoch for its enormous energy of passion, creativity, cultural expression, and an aspect in character development. The vigorous forms of classical and highlife music dissolved into greater expression of human artistic capabilities. Music essentially grew and dissolved into artistic forms of playwrights and theatre that transformed literature of the time (Greenblatt, 2011).
Recognizing the fact that there was a delay in the modulation of Romanticism in America, much of the influence holds to the arts of 1830 until the Civil War period in America. Contrary to the European type romanticism, the American romanticism championed exposition more than anything it did in its genius of romanticism
Ideally, romanticism had greater attribution to the individual more than it held to society. Consciousness, imagination, and emotion were particularly fascinating ideals of Romanticism. Romantic poets attribute the significance of melancholy for its creative potential in inspiring the epoch. Romantic period also witnessed a coincidental relegation that whitewashed the significance and supremacy of reason. According to Greenblatt (2011) romanticism was more of a reaction to the unpopular Enlightenment thinking of the time. The investment of artistic skill and intellect by many writers, artists, and composers was as causes for forward mobility.
The Industrial Revolution gained increased momentum and the English society was undergoing great paradigm shifts that made this epoch a historic phenomenon. With more challenges to humanity, the response of most early Romantics was geared towards the agitation for a more idealized society. According to Kreis (2009), romantics passed as an intersection between international enthusiasm for art and the popular philosophical movement inherent in change and the fervor for progress (Realism in Nineteenth-Century European Art, 2013). Typically, this movement culminated into a redefinition of the fundamental classical lifestyles in which literary themes, mysticism, individualism, artistic isolationism, the search for truth in beauty, and idealism formed the means and impetus for artistic expression of the western culture and the worldviews of the time.
The relationship between religion and politics in the 19th century Romanticism has been the quintessential of a more complex yet conventional theory that drove the instinct of this epoch (Rosenthal, 2008). More than anything, the seeming religious conflicts recorded from the 19th century establishment to the current times could be interpreted in terms of conflicts of interests that romanticism sought to address. These conflicts have been influenced by religious prejudice whose main interpretation of the religious ethics has been to inspire a greater passion through sacrifice and offertory from the masses. This point of view often suggests that the archetypical balance drift towards this new wave of change was not necessarily the direct opposite of a Christian dominion.
Rather, the most candid expression to it would be the religious conflicts that heralded it into a full-blown war (Rosenthal, 2008). The lineage and the consequences of the apparent conflicts in these developments were by extension a farce and an instigation of religious embodiment.
Romanticists embraced those writers that Voltaire had earmarked as barbaric Shakespeareans (Schmidt, 2000). However, the influence of religion, and the prowess of the faith were equally characteristic of the period. Moreover, romanticism largely rejected the myth of the 19th generation’s apathy, which supported absolute systems. Such systems and beliefs were rejected under Romanticism regardless of their philosophical or religious backing. In essence, the supporters of Romanticism favored the notion that individuals and humanity in general must shape the religious system in which they subsist. Romanticism believed in the power in a society and the possibilities of the impetus for artistic expression and character.
Essentially, truth and beauty were the preserve of Romanticism era. Nature and humanity stemmed from the literary themes, the search for truth in beauty and idealism (Campbell, 2009). Romanticism did not simply suggest that there were illogical ways of perceiving religion. Materialism was rejected while utilitarianism was seen as a farce in the forward mobility of humanity to explore mysticism for the greater common good of humanity.
Romanticism marked the rebirth of the classical art, which made knowledge to expand greatly as art flourished. Romanticism was typically a period that saw drastic shift in the development of several elements of empowerment that built humanity, and art being no exception, developed to serve humanity in many ways (Campbell, 2009). Amid the invention and development of the printing press, the rate of literacy equally progressed due to what art brought into the ancient forms of education. With increased art literacy, populations living at the time had great flair in learning how to read and write, thereby increasing the need to build new schools while expanding the existing ones.
As people became more knowledgeable, they began to push for more freedoms and rights, thus inspiring popular revolts against the ancient administrations. Therefore, Art in the Romantic era opened up the society, and generally changed the way people viewed and conceptualized things within their midst. For example, some of the paintings of images of Kings and Queens depicted them in ways that criticized them or their acts (Art of Renaissance and Baroque Europe (1400–1750), 2001).
Such paintings were dynamic in making the population discover and appreciate the power that art had in the society. Art, therefore, was a great tool of empowerment that had great influence and impact in developing humanity and the society. For instance, in America, the highly celebrated landscape printers, especially those from the prestigious Hudson River Seminary as well as the Utopian societal groups, which flourished in 19th century, were expressions of the spirit that informed Romanticism.
The Romantic era or Romanticism is a celebrated period in the memory of many for its gigantic energy, passion, and character. The robust forms of classical and highlife music dissolved into greater expression of human artistic capabilities. Music essentially grew and dissolved into artistic forms of playwrights and theatre that transformed literature of the time (Greenblatt, 2001). The romantic period is relatively short as compared to other artistic literary timelines, yet it is quiet complex to date. According to Schmidt (2000), various scholars identify the beginnings and endings of this epoch in very different lifespans, though these dates often coincide with great literary, socio-political, economic, and cultural events. While Romanticism as a period literally focused on a few celebrated artists of the time, scholars of the 21st century have expanded their scope to embrace many diverse playwrights, authors, and composers as well as genres of writings within this enigmatic period.
Romanticism in essence has very little to do with romance as the popular thinking of the 21st century suggests, although love may have featured substantially in the manifestations of Romantic artefacts (Schmidt, 2000). Rather, according to Kreis (2009), it was the intersection between international zest for art and the popular philosophical movement. This archetypical movement culminated into a redefinition of the fundamental classical lifestyles of the western culture and the thinking of the world of the time. The revolutionary zest that informed the Revolutionary Movement ended up affecting not only literature, but also all forms of art, ranging from music to painting, and from ordinary sculpture to ancient architecture.
The search for truth in beauty
As classical art flourished, the ancient artefacts became a source in the search for truth in beauty, developing artists in their creativity, inspiring the populations while introducing sufficient curiosity in people. Art Romanticism created in the people the desire to seek for truth and reach out to great achievements of the past while seeking to make the future more profound (Campbell, 2009). For example, in the souvenir of the ancient Italy, the indigenous population found great stimulation in the images and ideas of art Romanticism that spurred fresh thinking and inspired great innovations. The elevated status of art Romanticism often reflects the status of the 19th century as a society that was enlighten much early in history. Through these informal art practices, the 19th century culture became devoted to the supremacy of its innovation. In ancient Rome, scholars of art were highly respected and most, in fact, came to position themselves in highly respected ranks in government and other public positions.
Apart from the traditional role played by art in Europe, what made art Romanticism so distinct from other informal art was its visual luster and stimulating mystics. Art, according to Campbell (2009), embraced every clime of the society and had deep roots in religious expression. Traditionally, Romanticism saw these developments as expressions of ethical government doubled with religious tolerance. Consequently, artistry became synonymous with people in appreciation of their culture that were also elements of trade at the time. Art idealized the way of thinking and developed the indigenous people, most of whom became painters, poets, philosophers, and potters. Romanticism took pride in these individuals for their immense knowledge and contributions to the society.
While Romanticism as a period literally focused on a few celebrated artists of the time, scholars of the 19th century have expanded their scope to embrace many diverse playwrights, authors, and composers as well as genres of writings within this enigmatic period. Most features of Romanticism were entwined within the concept of Romanticism itself though some aspects of it seemed to have strayed from a specific idea of Romanticism. Those literary themes that asserted and supported the importance of individualism, the unique, and perhaps the odd, represented these set of ideologies. In time, they opposed the appeal of the model of neoclassical drama that was taking root in most parts of Europe (Schmidt, 2000). While the critics of Romanticism created their own literary types, Romanticism as a concept seemed unwaveringly unstoppable. It was typically an idea whose time had come, and it had to be explored to its full potential of its mystery.
Much of the literary themes inherent in romanticism were regarded largely as the heaven storming types whose thematic concepts loomed large generally from Prometheus over to Captain Ahab. Many individuals around whom Romanticism revolved brought profound relevance to literature. Others such as Cain, Hester Prynne, and the Ancient Mariner brought meaningful contribution to this singularity (Schmidt, 2000). Faust particularly made a forceful twist in the Romanticism vendetta, his typical determination for the unattainable that transcends the bounds of morality, were viewed as the aspects of his enigmatic attempt at the era. Thomas Cole remains an incredible celebrity for his realistic and in depth works of art that portrayed the American commitment to Romanticism through his artistic themes (Rosenthal, 2008).
He also founded the Hudson River School that flourished during Romanticism. As the wind of Romanticism broadened across Europe, cultures were rapidly changing to conform to the wave of the new era. Chronicles offer that art Romanticism revived the European intellectual history leading the European society to the rebirth of the classical sphere on which humanism developed (Rosenthal, 2008). The humanist philosophy sought to reclaim the dignity of humanity, which aimed at pursuing the gains made by man. Arguably, the limitation of conceptualizing art Romanticism was both its vitality and rigidity.
In celebrating the classical art Romanticism, these stimulating images suggest that art played multiple roles ranging from basic education of the masses to the concept of governance and society. Drawings, sculptures, and paintings did not only signify specific meanings, but also revealed moral motifs in their unique forms, exploring the vitality of the manifestation of humanity, the energy and the resolve to explore the beauty of nature that it sought to reveal. Through these developments, Campbell (2009) observes that the humanist consciousness shifted from the initial emphasis of logic and theological thinking to championing the course of humanity. In pursuit of these endeavors, it is clear that art Romanticism has revealed the classical human consciousness that put the contemporary secular world into motion through its stimulating images.
Essentially, Romanticism as a concept of literary sensibility and an embodiment to a new aesthetics never absolutely disappeared from the face of the earth. Probably many other aesthetic paradigm shifts such as Realism, Modernism, and Postmodernism overtook it. During these paradigms, Romanticism was mutely taking place underneath the paradigms. Great poets, philosophers, novelists, and artists of the 19th century attribute the Romantics for its inspirational ambience. Perhaps the major cause for the redundancy of Romanticism was that many contributors felt the increased need to convey themselves with greater rapidity. As modernization took shape, robust forms of literature dominated the arena and displaced romanticism simply because Romantics fell below the threshold in the changing tides of time.
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Romanticism in Seascape Painting by Jules Dupre Essay
This paper is aimed at discussing the painting Seascape by Jules Dupre. In particular, it is important to examine the stylistic peculiarities of this artwork and the way in which it reflects the cultural trends that emerged in the nineteenth century. It should be mentioned that Jules Dupre could adopt different methods and techniques while creating his paintings. Yet, the picture, which has been selected for this assignment, is a good example of Romanticism. In this case, much attention should be paid to the way in which the author depicts the confrontation between an individual and nature.
This issue is a recurrent theme in many Romantic paintings that could be created at the beginning of the nineteenth century. To some degree, this author could be inspired by this motif. Furthermore, it is possible to speak about the symbolism of this picture because the storm depicted by the author can be regarded as a metaphor for emotional turmoil. Apart from that, it is important to remember about the greater realism of this painting. To some degree, this quality is also an attribute of Romanticism. Overall, these characteristics are used to identify the artistic movement which this painting represents. These are the main arguments that can be advanced.
It should be noted that that the representatives of Romanticism placed emphasis on the irrationality of human behavior which could often be completely unpredictable. In turn, they tried to depict individuals who were ready to take courageous steps even though they did not have to act in this way. As a rule, they did not want to depict nature in an orderly manner. They laid stress on the idea that the environment could not be easily subdued by a human being. Additionally, they often attempted to produce a strong impression on the viewers. In many cases, this goal could be achieved by confronting a person with untamed nature.
On the whole, it is possible to say that the painting is a good example of Romanticism. In particular, Jules Dupre depicts the way in which the storm can affect a person and make him/her vulnerable. By looking at the small ship, one can assume that it is about to turn upside down. Moreover, there is practically nothing that can protect people in this ship. This is one of the characteristics that can be distinguished. This issue was explored by other Romantic painters who worked at the beginning of the nineteenth century. For example, one can speak about The Shipwreck by William Turner. This artwork has been emulated by many painters who represented Romanticism. One can conjecture that Jules Dupre could also be inspired by this painting. Yet, it is only a conjecture that cannot be fully verified.
Apart from that, it is important to mention that Romantic painters emphasized the importance of danger as one of the key themes. In many cases, they tended to depict people who were ready to confront forces which could be beyond their control. To a great extent, such individuals could be regarded as the role models for other people. In turn, the sailors in the ship can also risk their lives. Thus, one can say that the themes explored by Jules Dupre are typical of Romantic painting. This is one of the details that can be distinguished, and it can accurately attract the attention of a person who is familiar with Romanticism.
Furthermore, one should keep in mind that Romantic painting was supposed to reflect the inner world of a person and his/her emotional turmoil. By focusing on nature, they could create the images that could be interpreted in different ways. To some degree, Jules Dupre’s painting can also symbolize the inner emotional struggle. Thus, the symbolism of this picture is another attribute that should not be disregarded since it is important for understanding this work of art. It should be noted that Romantic painters laid stress on the psychological struggle of an individual.
Additionally, it is important to mention that Romantic artists emphasized the limitations of human perception. Jules Dupre also throws light on this issue. In particular, one can speak about patches of light reflected in the seawater. Thus, this detail can produce a soothing impression on the reader. In contrast, one can also notice that waves are gradually rising and one can think about eminent danger that may soon turn into a natural disaster. Therefore, one can say that the impending storm can eventually imperil the lives of sailors. This symbolism is also important for the discussion of this artwork because Romantic painters relied on the images of nature as tools for illustrating the experiences of a person.
Furthermore, it is important to mention that Romantic artists tended to depict nature in a more realistic manner. They did not want to create idyllic images that could produce a soothing impression on the viewers. In many cases, they tried to depart from this tradition. In turn, Jules Dupre uses very rich palette in order to depict the rough sea. While looking at the waves, a viewer may think that they are quite real.
This is another technique that could be adopted by many Romantic painters who rejected the principles of classicism. Admittedly, this painting incorporates the elements of other styles. For instance, one can speak about the influence of impressionism which was also popular at the time when Jules Dupre created this artwork. Nevertheless, Jules Dupre emphasizes the dramatic moment during which a person can risk his/her life, and this is a distinct attribute of many Romantic paintings.
One can argue that this painting exemplifies the techniques used by Jules Dupre. In particular, this artist could create powerful images that could produce a strong impression on the viewers. Moreover, he could depict nature in a very realistic manner. To some degree, this artist was inspired by Romantic paintings which were very popular in the nineteenth century. This is one of the points that can be made.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that Jules Dupre’s picture Seascape is a great example of Romantic art. In particular, the painting depicts the conflict between a person and nature which is completely beyond out of human control. Moreover, the author lays stress on the authentic description of nature which can be viewed as an uncontrollable entity. It is possible to say that this painting produces a strong impression on the viewer because the author describes the moment when an individual confronts the dangerous forces of nature. Thus, one can feel empathy for the sailors who were imperiled by the rough sea. These are some of the details that can be singled out.