The Emotional Side of the Romanticism in Literature
Romanticism was a literary and artistic movement that identified the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Romantic Period can be defined as a time in which literature expressed the following characteristics: the individual and his/her feelings, the importance of nature, and the exploration of supernatural events. Such defining qualities became present in the works of various authors, such as Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and Herman Melville. These authors not only allowed readers to explore a new atmosphere in literature, but these authors were able to write more freely – there was no rules as to what they should write about, or how they should write it. With that being said, there was an also an exploration of dark romanticism – writings that focused on themes of death and human flaws, leaving behind stories of heroism.
To start off, the Romantic Period allowed for a fundamental concentration in the emotions of an individual. Some of these emotions involved feelings of love, sadness, desperation, anger, and revenge. When speaking of Edgar Allen Poe’s writings, it is evident that he was not afraid to create characters who were driven by their inner feelings, nor was he afraid to express himself as a true romantic. A prime example of this new emotional literature can be seen through the poem, Annabel Lee. This story of a romantic tragedy moves the soul of the reader with lines, such as: “but we loved with a love that was more than love – I and my Annabel Lee” (Poe, Lines 9-10). These intense feelings of love are captivated with the use of repetition and it makes it evident that the narrator….Moreover, “can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE,” reveals that the narrator will never be able to forget his true love despite her passing (Poe, Lines 32-33). Ultimately, this shows that mourning the loss of her will never become easier. In a sense, the absence of Annabel Lee comes to symbolize loneliness – an emotion that comes when exploring the theme of death – an aspect of this dark romanticism.
Emotions of desperation that unveil human flaws can also be seen in the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. While in The Tell-Tale Heart, there is a display of violence and gore scenarios, such essay can be read as being fundamentally about the mind. Poe reflects the paranoia of the narrator for committing a murder through its guilty conscious. This guilt that the narrator feels transforms this individual into an emotion wreck, which can be see through the following: “No doubt I now grew very pale; – bit I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice…I gasped for breath…I talked more quickly… I arose, and argued about trifles… I paced the floor…” (Poe 669). This comes to show how draining one’s desperation s well as inner though can be to the human mind. The narrator’s fear of being caught of committing a murder not only weakened him, but it drove him to confession: “villains!… dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! – here, here! – it is the beating of his hideous heart!” (Poe 670)… The call for the preservation of nature can also be seen through this period of romanticism. A prime excerpt that displays this emphasis of nature’s importance can be seen in James Fenimore Cooper’s, The Pioneers.
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