Romanticism Essay Example: Dark Romanticism


We present you an example of Literature Essays, “Dark Romanticism and Gothic Literature” written by our expert writers.

Secret Desires of Inner Depth


Dark romanticism concept is often used in music and literature. There is no specific definition. I can say that; dark romanticism has emerged against puritan literature. Puritan literature generally focuses on the bible and its teachings. In contrast, the dark romanticism deals with the inner world of man—personal feelings, evil, disdain, dark sides of man, supernatural beings, and insane. Dark romanticism uses a lot of symbolism and often contains sin and evil. Gothic literature and dark romanticism often seem to be intertwined. Both have dark environments, supernatural powers, obsessive characters. But gothic literature is more aggressive and terrifying than dark romanticism.

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This is precisely what connects the three stories that I will examine. Suppressed desires, fears that drive people into insanity, a sense of curiosity that causes death. These three works are; Edgar Allan Poe's 'A Descent into the Maelstrom,' Sigmund Freud's 'The Uncanny,' and Polidori's 'The Vampyre.' Although the three stories have different environments, characters, and narratives, they combine in a circle that cannot be summed up in one word.

In the story of 'A Descent into the Maelstrom,' the narrator tells how he got rid of a vortex and shipwreck. In the story, the events are described in a mountain climbing sequence in Lofoten, Norway. The old man who tells what happened in the story tells that he is not actually as old as he seems, his hair is cut white and his nerves are ruined because of a terrible event he has experienced. The narrator of the story believes the old man when he sees the vortex below the cliff where they are located and begins to listen to the fishing that the man went out with a couple of brothers a few years ago. "The scariest hurricane ever" story addresses feelings; the narrator's thoughts and feelings, especially the horrors of being killed in a vortex, are emphasized. His curiosity and way of seeing it are amazing.

In the story of The Vampyre; The British gentleman Aubrey, the child of a wealthy family, is under the influence of the mysterious Lord Ruthven, who has just entered the high society. Lord Ruthven's unknown history and strange behaviors attract Aubrey's curiosity. However, the young man will soon discover that the evil person is hidden under the gaudy appearance of his new friend. During the couple's trips to Europe, Lord Ruthven is injured by a group of thugs attacking them. Before he gives his last breath, he asks Aubrey to keep his death and the crimes he committed a total of one year and a day secret. However, when Lord Ruthven reappears in London a year after his death and begins courtship to Aubrey's sister, the man's terrible secret is revealed.

Freud, in his article 'das unheimlich- The Uncanny,' mentions the existence of a situation that turns confusing messages into an encrypted language within us. A concept related to the uncanny and frightening. A well-known and very ancient fear of human nature is a stranger to us because it is suppressed. For this reason, what reflects our suppressed impulses or people constitute the most uncanniest. These are repetitions, loss of balance, disruption of space-time perception, the resurrection of the dead, twins (good-bad uncertainty), vending machines, realizing that they cannot control fate, spirits, and repetitive images.

The stories I mentioned above and Freud's article shows suppression to the reader in different ways. Their stories clearly present the troubles experienced by people whose desires were suppressed through fantastic creatures (Vampires) and natural events (Vortex). And as a result of his studies and experiments, Freud explains the existence of such a thing in real life by giving examples of such stories. Poe's story reveals fear with the reality that is part of our world. The main character gets a sense of fearlessness by looking at the deadly beauty during the time he spends on the cliff. In other words, at that moment, he gets caught the dark longing and desire. But this fearlessness almost drove him to death. The environment he watched with hours of curiosity and love seemed to take his last breath away. As I read the lines written by the author, I was dragged into that beauty for a moment until I read the lines of horror. It was clear that when the person came face to face with death, he did not experience only fear. The desire to help himself from drowning, rising in fear, terror, and the admiration of the current environment at the same time.

This is the moment when the emotions that are suppressed come out. His narcissism and self-confidence cause insanity that would not leave him until the end of his life. Edgar Allan Poe's Aubrey character finds himself constantly questioning reality only after becoming part of a human-vampire (Ego and Id), both of his loneliness and the frustration of suppression. His curiosity towards Lord Ruthven, and after that, the places he traveled with him led to the emergence of entirely different emotions. The curiosity that came after being affected, the fear that came as a result of this curiosity, the madness brought by fear, and the inevitable death. The hero's fearlessness or, more precisely, his thoughtlessness of death confronted him with death itself. The longing and desire for what is hidden in the darkness, regardless of what's your sex, sometimes causes it to drift into darkness and stay there forever.


As can be seen, although these stories are different in terms of subject, they have revealed the difficulties experienced by people whose desires are under pressure through these fantastic characters that they have created.

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