• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The spiritual and intangible world is central to Romanticism, yet real world experience is necessary. Discuss giving examples

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

There are a myriad of concepts and principles that contribute to the way of thinking that is Romanticism. However, on theme consistent in and central to texts that express Romantic concerns is that of the spiritual and the intangible world; a world most commonly manifested in the realm of the imagination. What established this theme as intrinsic to Romanticism is the era?s value for the insight which can be achieved through exploring the uncertainty of the intangible, in which lies a passion that often cannot be found in the rationality of the temporal world. Nevertheless in the majority of tests that deal with the spiritual, there is a recognition of the nature of the imaginative world as fleeting, thus an acceptance of the necessity of returning to reality. This dichotomous experience is evidently illustrated in the work of John Keats, particularly in his poems Ode to a Nightingale, in which Keats grapples with the transcendent beauty of the nightingale?s song versus the bleak reality, and La Belle Dame sans Merci where the allure of imagination is set against its depleting quality. Although not of Romantic context, the novel Possession by A.S. Byatt explores the quest for artistic liberty whilst dealing with the qualms of contemporary life. Eugene Delacroix?s painting Liberty Leading the People depicts the upsurge of idealistic passion in the French Revolution, while expressing also the reality of revolution. ...read more.

Middle

The description of ?La Belle? identifies her as a symbol of the alluring yet intangible nature of imagination. She is depicted as other worldly, a ?faery?s child? with ?wild, wild eyes? who entraps the knight with the temptation of her beauty. This is reminiscent of the theory of the sublime which re-emerged in the eighteenth century with the increasing exploration of the impact of the powers of the imagination on the workings of the mind. The theory concerns the magnitude of nature and the supernatural which has the ability to dissipate one?s cognition and rationality, while maintaining a magnetism. Immanuel Kant called this theory ?negative pleasure?, which is reflected in the intensity of the poems eight stanza which conveys Keats? recurring theme of the fine line between pleasure and pain within imagination. There is a suggestion of the lady?s danger, thus that of the spiritual, as she ?lulled? the knight to sleep, and consequently depletes his humanity, which is recognised in the exclamation ?woe betide!? By expressing the dangers of entrapment in the intangible world, Keats conveys the necessity of returning to the physical world. The painting, Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix us one other text that encapsulates the transformative powers of the imaginative world. The painting was a response to the political upheaval that arose as a result of the overthrow of Charles X. ...read more.

Conclusion

While Maud fragments her identity to maintain “self-possession”, preoccupied with the “thresholds” of Christabel’s poetry, Roland must liberate himself from the rigid conventions of “stringent” scholarship to “relume” the fire of his creative drive. The characters tensions parallel the pathway of imaginative vision, which from a Romantic viewpoint must begin with a sense of discord. The prompt for the artistic journey is a recognition of the value for imagination, which is found through engaging with history, thus the novel merges künstleroman with the quest genre, where history illuminates the artistic journey to creative discovery. In order to facilitate change within her characters, Byatt dislocates them from the norm; Maud from her isolating “Tennyson Tower” and Roland from the dispiriting flat and Val. The setting of “Seal Court” where the letters are discovered connotes the Romantic value for nature as a locus for creativity. Nature seems to overwhelm the ruined castle and surrounds, with “villages...buried in the valleys”, conveying the necessity of shedding society’s constructs to reshape one’s consciousness. The physical journey to Yorkshire is another venture into nature that mirrors the emotional journeys of Maud and Roland. They imitate Randolph Henry Ash’s quest for knowledge which caused a “shift” in his poetry, incidentally redefining their own identities. What distinguishes Maud and Roland from Cropper’s tracing of the journey is that while Cropper aims to experience strictly through Ash’s eyes, they glean “something new” which informs their own creative processes, illustrating the Romantic value for individual experience in order to express the creative self. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Innocence and Experience in "Atonement" and "The Go-Between"

    5 star(s)

    the belief that "it was right, it was essential, for her to know everything." However, it is precisely these innocent childish imaginings, these constructed worlds of perfection, which prevent Briony and Leo from grasping the complex reality of the adult world which they seek to comprehend.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    completed the problems so well and had such a good character, that they were sure they would offer him the job. Kip found himself welcomed into a little family of which he was glad to be a part. His skill and character won him a position of individuality, free of the "chaotic machinery" of the army.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by ...

    4 star(s)

    and how he sees Alison not recognizing this where Osbourne writes, ?not a flicker from her ? she doesn?t even rumble a little.? This use of language by Osborne to present a relationship representing Jimmy, the main character?s, disillusionment with the world he lives helps shape the meaning of the

  2. Compare and contrast three examples of gothic fiction

    While Hyde is definitely Jekyll's dark side, it is a mistake to see Jekyll as the good. Jekyll implies that he was prone to living a life somewhat more immoral than that of a decent English gentleman, but that he had done his best to suppress these urges under a respectable veneer.

  1. The supernatural in Macbeth

    of the two abstract nouns suggests that the witches themselves cause confusion which is achieved through an illusion. Shakespeare may have been suggesting that witchcraft isn't capable of evil but can trigger things that have already been thought about (1.3).

  2. Write a Critical Commentary of both La Belle Dame Sans Merci, and The Lady ...

    In the fourth stanza, Lord Tennyson again brings into disrepute this feeling of loneliness for the lady of shallot, depicting her as so solitary that 'only reapers, reaping early' 'hear a song that echoes cheerly'. Lord Tennyson has inflicted another wonderful sense of imagery amongst the reader, as one can

  1. An exploration of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World

    It could be argued their use in the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World both emphasise the society of consumerism and hedonism, one that is possibly nearly upon us. The items used to suffice the proles in 1984 have been long available in our society, and are often used for the same purpose.

  2. Vulnerability is one of the key themes that is explored throughout Blakes poetry Songs ...

    or, as the extract shows in the declarative sentence "Even this meeting of eye holds danger" that they cannot even look at each other without being in danger Furthermore Blake uses the anaphora of " In every" to explain that everyone is vulnerable in this society and this can be

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work