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Romanticism essay. Romanticism was a movement in the fine arts and literature that became popular in the late 1700s and continued through most of the 1800s. It was a revolt against the classicism belief system that was previously known.

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Introduction

In order to cope with the political and industrial movements of the 18th century, artists, poets, musicians and philosophers developed a new way of thinking called Romanticism. It enabled them to create an imaginative journey in which there was a much larger scope of expression and self-discovery. Prior to Romanticism, ideals were largely based upon intellect and reason with emphasis on personal restraint, decorum and discipline. Within society, there was a set code of behaviour and morals of which people were expected to conform to. Humans were viewed as social beings with respect shown to those in hierarchical authority. There was the expectation of language to attain technical precision, with emphasis on form rather than content. Urbanized areas were valued more highly than country life, where nature was measured, controlled and cultivated. Art was intended to instruct, rather than delight the audience. With the arrival of Romanticism, however, society saw great change. Ideals began to be ruled by emotions, spontaneity, imagination and inspiration. There came an emphasis on individuality, free expression, originality and innovation. Isolation and solitude were preferred over social interaction, with humans being viewed as the products of nature. There was the desire to rebel against politics and to eliminate limits and restraints. Literature was less bound by rigid codes, with the use of passionate and evocative language. The imagination was considered a pathway to spiritual truth and enlightenment. Pantheism saw nature as a powerful, untamed force to be worshipped and its rugged beauty was seen as sublime; a source of inspiration and exhilaration. ...read more.

Middle

Another convention that is also introduced towards the beginning of the poem is that of individualism. The character says how is he in 'solitude/suits abstruser musings' demonstrating how his isolation enables him space to reflect on an imaginative journey that he later experiences. Solitude allows the character to escape a world in which his imaginative process is hindered. . Romantics believed solitude was the way to write and reflect. The world looks normal at the beginning of the poem as Coleridge describes his natural surroundings, 'owlet's cry', 'inmates/all at rest', 'blue flame/low-burnt fire'. However, shortly after this we see things begin to transform and are made beautiful by the frost, 'beneath the crags of ancient mountain'. This illustrates the powerful influence that nature has on the character, and is also amazing because frost is invisible, yet seemingly has such eminent effect. Frost seemingly appears out of nowhere which links to how imagination comes to humans out of 'nowhere' and transforms them. This powerful influence is further emphasised when the persona describes nature as a 'companionable form'. This shows how the character feels comforted by nature as it allows him to expand his way of viewing the world. Imagination allows him to become aware of the volume of the outside world. The simile used in the line 'inaudible as dreams!' elucidates that our own imaginative journey has the ability to heighten our senses from daily distractions. The use of exclamation mark also suggests heightened emotions, which is another convention of Romanticism. ...read more.

Conclusion

They appear to be dark and harmful, with darker hues and rough brush strokes used. Through this, a contrast between city life and the wonders of solitude in remoteness are depicted. The idea of something seemingly 'magical' occurring away from civilization portrays how being in solitude with nature brings about an imaginative journey of beauty and spontaneity that is directly related to the Romantic conventions of both the direction away from city life and individualism. There is some element in the painting that really emanates a sense of wonder and mystery, a goodness that has left the religious man in death and heartened the body of an angel over a desolate world. Again we are introduced to a world of exotic nature through the use of mysterious themes. The concept of Romanticism is applied to each of the texts Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight, On the Sea and Untitled. They are each successful examples of Romanticism, which is clearly distinguishable in their proficiency to meet the conventions and ideas expressed by the Romantic outlook. Each text deals with pantheism, the nature of man, individualism, the supernatural or exotic and the power of imagination. These are perhaps the more prominent and common aspects of Romanticism. However, the conventions of a ballad, an idyllic world, heightened emotions, and a rebellion against authority are also dispersed throughout the poems. Each text deals with looking for new ways for human beings to live their lives. In particular, strengthening humanities place in the universe though our relationship with God and Nature. Romanticism was a quest for new experiences through an imaginative journey. Overall, each of the texts innately deals with the main concept of Romanticism, that with imagination, anything is possible. ...read more.

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