Common Issues In Romanticism Essay

1494 words - 6 pages

The key figures in Romanticism addressed many of the same issues. Such connectivity is marked in William Blake’s poems “Infant Sorrow” and “On Another’s Sorrow”, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Shelley, like Blake, argues for continual development of innocence to experience, and through the character of Victor Frankenstein’s creation, Mary Shelley suggests the equilibrium of innocence and experience offers insight into the human condition. The shift is distinguished by what Blake states in plate 3, stanza 2 of “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”: “Without contraries is no progression” (112). Any event, idea, or emotion that is contrary to the innocent human conscience is a progression to experience. In Frankenstein, the balance and shift of innocence and experience is evidenced by the creature’s observance of the De Lacey’s, the misfortune that befalls him in his wandering, and finally, the progression of experience reaches maturation through murder.
A careful analysis of the creature’s initial human interaction shows a steady shift from innocence as the creature experiences the world around him. Frankenstein’s creation is simple and child-like in conscience yet aged and abhorred in appearance. Although a paradox, the creature is akin to an adult child: innocent and naïve, but forced to experience the world. Blake recognizes this concept in his poem “Infant Sorrow” in which he states, “Into the dangerous world I leapt: / Helpless, naked, piping loud, / Like a fiend hid in a cloud” (ll. 2-4). One rarely thinks of a newborn baby as a “fiend”. It seems more believable to observe the grotesque form of the creature as a fiend. However, both the infant and Frankenstein’s creation entered the world with veiled and “clouded” eyes, unable to see the infinite. In the early years of childhood, both newborn and creature are like clay to be molded. They are malleable and in Blake’s world of experience, subjected to face the world and its inhabitants. The creature himself remarks about the significance of his first human contact apart from his creator: “Perhaps, if my first introduction to humanity had been made by a young soldier, burning for glory and slaughter, I should have been imbued with different sensations” (116). The sensations felt by the creature can certainly be considered benevolent. He continues:

“I felt the greatest ardor for virtue rise within me, and abhorrence for vice, as far as I understood the significance of those terms, relative as they were, as I applied them, to pleasure and pain alone… the patriarchal lives of my protectors caused these impressions to take a firm hold on my mind” (116).

The De Lacey’s offered Frankenstein’s creation with an education in speech and human society. They also unknowingly left the creature with so many unanswered questions. Left to his own devices, brooding and pensive, the creature began to realize his naïveté with a bold proclamation of “I was absolutely ignorant” (109). No longer in the...

Find Another Essay On Common Issues in Romanticism

Romanticism Essay

613 words - 2 pages Romanticism Romanticism began in the mid-18th century and reached its height in the 19th century. It was limited to Europe and America although different compatriots donated to its birth and popularity. Romanticism as a movement declined in the late 19th century and early 20th century with the growing dominance of Realism in the arts and the rapid advancement of science and technology. However, Romanticism was very impressionative on most

Historical Background Essay

794 words - 4 pages Romanticism was the era of emotion and against reason; the era of which was the reaction to the revolution and Enlightenment. Though the Romantic era as a whole was believed certain ideals those of different eras have contrasting ones. The contrast was a main reason to how the Romanticism era arose out of conflict. Romanticism derived from the freedom to express, feel and imagine. The Revolution era had a memorable impact in the Romantic era

Comparing Romanticism in Plymouth Plantation, Birthmark, and Rappaccini's Daughter

1125 words - 5 pages it focuses on living simply. Romanticism deals with issues concerning the conflict between the spirit and the body, nature as being good or evil, experience as mystical, the nature of reality, and the equality of men. Romanticism supported abolition and believed in the "manifest destiny" of the United States. This literature pays close attention to setting, nature, nonconformity, and the mood and tone of a piece. Romantics also made use of gothic

Romanticism in European Art and Culture

2475 words - 10 pages . “Symbols of the unseen or the unseeable” is a common phrase used by artists to elucidate the purpose of their works. (Newton 205) The goal of an artist is to condense explanations and to let symbols share the message. The French were not able to capture the quintessence of Romanticism. There are many clichés in Romanticism that challenge the artist simply due to its visual language. Gustave Moreau, a French artist, used words to express the beauty of

A brief history of drama

699 words - 3 pages A Brief History of DramaThe time period from about 1650 to 1920 was ever changing in the world of drama. Neo-classicism sprung up from Greek and Roman models in Europe during the Enlightenment, Romanticism struck the Globe in the 1800's based on principles like emotion, intuition and seeking God. During and after the 1800's naturalism and realism began to play major roles in the area of drama. Naturalists such as August Strindberg and realists

A Martyr of the Movements

1757 words - 7 pages closer to the inevitable outcome. Although she feared that death would bring no liberation from the common life that she was forced to live, Plath still longed for the dark water that became a persistent theme in her poetry. This dark water represented death to Plath, following the suit of neo-romanticism. Nature themes were prevalent in both the renewed ideology (The Romantic Era) and Plath’s poetry. Plath also indulged in the isolationist side

Chickamauga; Editha: Tales of Anti-Romanticism

2135 words - 9 pages late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Romanticism is: A literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an

European Romanticism

836 words - 3 pages strictly believes in law, at the end of the novel even though he has a chance to arrest Valjean, he let him go because Valjean was trying to save Marius. Prior to French Revolution, literature was more focused on aristocrats and clergies. But after the French Revolution, in the romanticism movement, literature was more about common people, imagination, human goodness, heroism of common man and sublimity through a connection with nature. Thus

Romanticism in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

2514 words - 10 pages , 1997. Google Book. Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Edited by D.L Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf. 3rd ed. Buffalo: Broadview Press, 2010. Print. Shelley, Percy Bysshe. A Defence of Poetry. Sydney: ReadHowYouWant Pty Ltd, 2006. Google Book. Smith, Nicole. “Common Themes in Romanticism, The Enlightenment, and The Renaissance.” December 7, 2011. Accessed October 30, 2013.

Romantic Period in American Literature

903 words - 4 pages ). Emerson makes clear his arrogant point of analysis in this citation about bad and good. Romanticism for Emerson was an era of time that ruined down old societal obstruction and set latest values for society. The common approach toward man was considerably changed; the person turns into the center of experience and life.The next prominent of Romanticism era of literature is Washington Irving, who definitely shows characteristics of Romanticism

The Era of Romaticism

617 words - 2 pages RomanticismRomanticism began in the mid?18th century and reached its height in the 19th century. It was limited to Europe and America although different compatriots donated to its birth and popularity. Romanticism as a movement declined in the late 19th century and early 20th century with the growing dominance of Realism in the arts and the rapid advancement of science and technology. However, Romanticism was very impressionative on most

Similar Essays

Frankenstein Romanticism Essay

1523 words - 6 pages Frankenstein including a third and vital underpinning of romanticism, the innocence and exaltation of the common man. An important element of romanticism is the use of flowing feelings. During this time period, men as well as women were full of raw emotions in literary works. They would freely vent their most anguished thoughts and worries. This was evident in several of the chapters in Shelley’s portrayal of the life of the monster and the people he

The Romantic Period In Literature Essay

1220 words - 5 pages liking for the attractive, the exotic, the sensational, and the supernatural, and above all, the individual and the common man was exalted. Three of all of these characteristics formed major concepts in Romanticism that were embedded into America from Europe and many other places. One of the main characteristics that form the whole base of rules of this period is imagination elevated to a greater position. In romanticism, the romantics tend to define

"An Age Of Melancholy Musings" A Comprative/Contrast Essay Focusing On The American Writers Of The Neo Classic Period And The Romantic Period In Literature.

608 words - 2 pages tradition; the most important result of romanticism was the emphasis laid upon the feeling, passion, nature, and originality.The Neo-Classicist portrayed man as being imperfect and sinful; they were convinced that human reason could discover the natural laws of the universe and determine the natural rights of mankind; thereby unending progress in knowledge, technical achievement, and realizing moral values. Imagination was usurped by common sense and

Liberty, The Ordinary And The Extraordinary

1252 words - 5 pages in modern day society, individualism is a strong and common theme. Both historical art periods, Romanticism and Realism, suggest that individualism is an important and key factor not only in art but also in our society. Whether the artist was portraying individualism through glorifying liberty and freedom, which was common in Romanticism, or the artist was glorifying individualism through ordinary hardships, which was common in realism, the theme