• 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)

    movement from innocence to experience, particularly The Go-Between, described by Hartley himself as "pregnant with symbols". The episodes set in 1900 and 1935 both use a backdrop of summer, which, "with its heavy fragrance, its burden of pleasures" was believed to "encourage loose morals among young people."

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    In his acknowledgments, Ondaatje notes that some of the characters in the book are based on actual historical figures, but stresses that the story and the portraits of the characters are fictional. As a work of historical fiction, The English Patient draws on the occurrence of the actual tragedy that beset the Cliftons.

  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    used by Waugh to reflect the decline of a decadent era in Britain after World War II.

  2. There is no room for individual identity in South African literature Discuss.

    It is often forgotten, however, that the Whiteman's identity is also predefined, and he too is unable to change it. Whilst Fugard was watching a black woman walk 'like a somnambulist' beside the Swartkops river just north of the city one bitterly cold July in 1968, he realised that to her, he and his companions were 'merely "white men"5'.

  1. aspects of tension in steetcar named desire

    Stanley's enjoyment of bowling evidently sums up his character; manly, macho and masculine. As Blanche and Stella finally meet, they spasmodically embrace one another. Tension develops between the sisters as Blanche constantly criticises Stella and Stanley's home. "I thought you'd never come back to this horrible place!", "What are you

  2. Explore the corruption of morality and its consequences within the texts of Othello, The ...

    In contrast, Wilde portrays the element of losing oneself ?when one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one?s self?. It could be argued that Othello is deceiving himself and not thinking rationally as he is overreacting. However, one could argue that this is almost an instinctual impulse he

  1. William Wordsworth and Damien Hirst might appear unlikely bedfellows, but appearances can be deceiving.

    This is why, in ?To the Small Celandine?, the flower is addressed in religious terms (?kindly, unassuming Spirit!?) and is presented, like other figures in his poems such as the leech-gatherer and Simon Lee, as a mistreated outsider who deserves attention and respect (?Scorned and slighted upon earth!?).

  2. The Discoverie of Guiana by Walter Ralegh. A Necessary Failure: Ralegh and the ...

    This fluctuating nature of the court is illustrated in his poem ?Farewell to the Court,? where he recognizes that Elizabeth?s affections and the courtly life are both fickle and all-consuming In the poem, Ralegh?s ?love misled, and fancy quite retired/ Of all which passed the sorrow only stays? .

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