Comparison of Romanticism Essay
Comparison of Romanticism
Romanticism movement started in the late 18th century. Its main characteristics were the extra focus on individuals, feelings, and, most importantly, perspectives. The idea mainly sparked because of the environment at that time. Revolutions of huge countries like the US reminded people that they matter, and they have the required power to make a change in the world. It is fair to say that Romanticism is the celebration of ordinary people. In this paper, I will compare passages from Polidori, Gautier, Freud, and Poe, who is primarily known for his take on human emotions.
The first thing one notices after reading all of the given chapters is the number of emotions and feelings packed into these segments. It is as if the author is trying to recreate a physical picture while also putting windows that show how everyone is feeling. It is as if the reader has god-like abilities. With just one paragraph, we have every question answered, and even more details than real life. The amount of detail is so high that even a native reader might have problems understanding every word. These writers looked for and found the exact words for each feeling, emotion, and state. This is a common trait in romanticist artists.
They are incredibly powerful with words, and thanks to that skill, we still see pieces of Romanticism in works published today. Moreover, Poe was incredibly detailed when it came to melancholy, pain, and suffering. In almost every work he has published, we see traces of pain and sadness. Yet, the pain and sadness are not in a discomforting way. Poe has found the beauty within sadness and succeeded in transferring that feeling to the reader. There are many reasons why he has been chosen to be the best author for combining feelings, and this is one of them.
Freud, on the other hand, had a much different way of looking at life and Death. Putting past the idea of double, he coined the term death drive. In his psychoanalytic works, he explains this feeling and says that every person has the possibility to have a death drive. It is a behavioral way that shows signs of self-destructiveness, aggression, and repeating harmful ways to both oneself and others. We see this theory living through his works.
The double theory is a distinct feature of Freud. It creates a double-edged sword where one can see either immortal living and rejoice, or see immortal living and fall into fear. To Freud, Death meant something else. It meant a beginning. Although we can associate these beliefs with the romanticism movement, I believe that Freud’s definition of Death is not the same as the ones we see in other romantic writers. Yet, even if his perception is Death is not associated with Romanticism, his idea of self-destruction definitely fits in with this movement. Moreover, spirituality is also one of the characteristics of Romanticism, and we see Freud adopting the idea of an immortal spirit fits in with the description. He is very different from other given writers. Therefore, I couldn’t find any similarities. Instead of being a part of this movement, Freud improved the idea in his own way.
The work of Polidori shows not only melancholy but also a celebration of isolation. We see a man that avoids everything around him while moving onto a dream state. Before going into detail about these symbols, I would like to mention that Gothicism is more dominant in his works, and especially in this one. However, John Polidori shows us his genius mind in blending Gothicism and Romanticism. Isolation in Romanticism is usually not associated with melancholy. Self-isolation meant taking time to improve one’s spiritual and artistic ways, and we can see this “positive” isolation clearly in this given paragraph. The dream state represents the perfect improvement for the individual and creates an opening for growth. We see an example of epiphany after a long thought in Gautier’s example.
The dream state of the given person in Gautier’s example has opened a room for change in his mind, and after being captured by love, the person decides to become a priest, just to not be imprisoned by love again. This is a great example of Spiritual improvement. However, this is not the only example of Romanticism in Gautier. We also see rationalism and the idealization of women. The person’s decision to become a priest can be considered a logical way out of his prison, and his prison is basically the deification of the woman. Gautier uses words in such a good way that the reader can almost feel the physical bars of the prison he is in. This heavy burden of emotions is a common characteristic in all the given writers.
In conclusion, Gautier, Polidori, Freud, and Poe are great examples of Romanticism in many different ways. Poe finds beauty in melancholy, Freud finds the thin layer between life and Death along with a person’s spiritual relations, Gautier shows the outcome of an epiphany and Polidori gives us an insight look to see the improvement inside self-isolation. These examples represent branches of Romanticism in their own ways.
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