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Critical View Of Romantic Literature Essay

750 words - 3 pages

This literature review will critically analyse a range of arguments and perspectives by literary critics which will be pertinent to the study of Romanticism . Due to the scale of research in Romantic literature as a discipline, the main focus in this paper will concentrate primarily on defining the two aspects of Romantic literature. These two aspects are called Romantic nature and the sublime; the paper will look at the main purpose of these definitions by literary scholars. The review will also compare and contrast different methodologies used by the critics when defining 'Nature' and the 'Sublime'. When, and if appropriate, the review may make brief references to some canonical Romantic texts. In addition, the reason why the paper will look particularly at these two aspects is because it has been generally agreed by literary scholars that nature and sublime are both synonymous. Yet, there are various debates amongst scholars on the definition and therefore illustrates inconsistencies of the two terms. Thus, this essay will make small contributions with regards to the definition of the term.

Nature and the sublime are two prominent characteristics in eighteenth century Romantic literature and it is this relationship that has attracted considerable attention in literary criticism ( Hagman , 124) . Aidan Day (1985) and Nicola Trott (1999) have aptly documented that the serenity of nature and the spiritual awe of the sublime is an aesthetically attractive feature in Romantic literature. In spite of this consensus , their interpretation on what constitutes as the sublime differs but not significantly. While, Day takes on an epistemological approach when defining the sublime 'as an experience of a power that exceeds the quantifiable' (Day, 1996, p.183) , Trott highlighted a psychoanalytical doctrine in her essay when she refers to the sublime as the 'more powerful feelings of terror or pain... and the producer of the strongest emotion' (Trott,1999, p.72). However, Days definition does not elaborate on what 'power ' might mean. Nonetheless, Day's chapter
Gender and the Sublime also provides an insightful and comprehensive evaluation of how the frameworks of the sublime can be placed into a feminist theory (Day, 1985). Conversely in her paper entitled The Picturesque, the Beautiful and the Sublime, Trott also...

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