In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, romanticism was defined as a literary and artistic movement and therefore contributed in the industrial revolution. Romanticism was categorized as literature, music and arts. Moreover, natural sciences and historiography was romanticism’s main effects. In English literature, romanticism displays a number of themes and styles for quite some time. However, it has faced numerous critics for decades because of its principles and aesthetics which results to the disagreements between scholars. Generally, competing points and philosophies are defined by the great network of romanticism. In Britain, romanticism remained to be of much influence in the 18th and early19th centuries, in the US it lasted till the American Civil war (René, 1949). Romanticism was highly regarded as expression in poetry in the United Kingdom (UK) while in America they were on campaigning novel as their romanticism genre. In any time period, romanticism has been justified as applicable in literature and can be traced from Homeric classics to modern novels. Despite the controversy in romanticism, its nature in America and England can be explained using universal statements
First, on the romanticism time period more individualism is experienced more than the society. Romantics are mainly focused on the basis of individual imagination. In romantic poems, individual’s creativity, depression and other states are majorly used to attract. Coincidentally, lowering of importance and reasoning power are reactions excluding the thinking insight. The matters on social issues was the primary concern of many authors as time progressed.
Authors in England as time progressed put more efforts on the social issues. England’s industrial revolution played a vital role in influencing the English society paradigms. Romantics during this time responded to their life’s simple past. English poets dealt on poem writing concerning legends, myths and medievalism. Most of these poets’ imagination were mostly influenced by the stories of King Arthur. The romanticism magical quality during this period is quite different from other periods regardless of less novel author or poets not displaying the traits at that time. The art expression of romanticism lots its standards at the formal level during its beginning. The content of poetry had serious expectations among many during the neoclassical period of 18th century. At the start of the 19th century, new styles and subjects were experimented and adopted extensively. There was a change of the poet’s language from high-flown language to more redundancy. The blank verses in poems replaced the initial rhymed stanzas and still the rhythmic style remained constant. Blank verses were aimed to improve the speech conversations to high level of seriousness. Romanticism was majored on a theme called country life also known as pastoral poetry. Fantasy and mythology structures were used in the poets’ effects (René, 1949).
In America, the movement of American Renaissance from New England resulted to romanticism. The intensive study of humanity has led to shift from individuals to modernized ideas of romanticism. The political mutiny in America might have played a vital role in revealing the darker aesthetics. Nevertheless, in creation of artistic religious traditions also play a part. The popular American clergy together with the protestant ethics contributed much in the literary work on romanticism. Original work and crafted symbols in the literature based on English romanticism was enacted by novelists such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. These novelists had a different concentration on the earlier romanticism. According to Richard (2001), there was an observable difference between American romanticism and English literature. The benefits of individual experiences on the world interpretation view are emphasized by romanticism. During the periods of romanticism, human experience and supernal natural were focused on their impression on person’s soul nature rather than the effects of technology and industrialization. It brought a diversion from science, church and traditions to emphasizing the significance of personal experience using aspects such as; the poetry superiority over science and the love of nature surpassing technology needs.
Nathaniel is an American-based novelist and short story writer born in Massachusetts, America. He is said to be a close and great friend of great publisher of his time known as James Thomas Fields (Madison). During his young ages, Nathaniel majored on writing short stories. Nathaniel’s literature work is based on romanticism on specifics such as dark romanticism or stories that evil and sins are dominant human qualities (Mellow & James, 1998). Most of his work has a puritan influence in which symbolism and psychological themes are combined with historical romance. In expressing ancestral vices such as revenge and sin, Hawthorne defines the channels used were based on historical fiction and the past. The transcendentalism movement was critically reflected in Hawthorne’s work on a negative angle of view. His publishes were told stories that required little expectations from the public. Nathaniel’s main romantic work was on publishes such as; The Blithadale Romance, The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gambles and Fanshawe. His work on not taking ordinary experiences made his definition of romance different from a novel. Generally, Nathaniel defines his work using a distinctive standard to improve the picture’s shadow by bringing out lights. Hawthorne’s work is viewed by various feminists as having describing women to being figures of potential transformation. Stalwart Prynne’s words “destined prophetess……and the apostle of new revelation” are used by scholars to analyze Nathaniel’s literature work. Nathaniel’s work has been selected by American Library.
Criticism of Hawthorne
In the reviewing of Hawthorne’s work, Edgar Poe wrote negative reviews such as twice-told tale. The accusations on plagiarism, moral and contempt tales contributed to the negative review. However, Hawthorne’s work had a writing style that had a singular tone and of purity thus was plaintive and effective as all his themes were used accordingly. Despite recognizing and praising Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harold Bloom disapproves him as the best American novelist of all time and gives credit to Henry Jams. Didacticism and symbolism form the basis of most of Hawthorne’s critics since the 1950s (Mellow & James, 1998).
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar is an American writer mostly known in poetry work on tales such as mystery and macabre. His role in romanticism is widely known in the United States and America in general. Poe is also known for his short stories. His contribution in science genre made him to be considered as a detective fiction inventor. Poe became the first known American to earn using writing alone thou his work was hindered by lack of copyright law. During his time most publishes in America pirated the British work instead of pirating the work from their fellow Americans. Among Poe’s work was publishes of stories, poems, book reviews and critiques. Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket publications marks one of Poe’s numerous work in poetry. His work on Gothic was one that pacified the public perspective. His other work included themes such as premature burial, reanimation of the dead among others. These works are referred to be of dark romanticism. In delivering readers from traditionalism, Poe used comic effects such as extravagance and irony. The Poetic Principle is one of his literary theories that represented criticism. Unlike Hawthorne, Poe had hatred on didacticism and symbolism and therefore believed literature was meant to be under the surface. Calculating every single idea and being brief and to the point determined Poe’s work quality (Edgar Allan & Mason, 1980).
Criticism and literary influence of Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was a well-known critic of his time. Russell, his mate, once referred Poe as the most fearless and discerning critics in America based on his philosophical and imaginative literature work. On his critics, Poe targeted Henry Wadsworth on writing derivatively plagiarized work this led to Henry defending his work on what is referred to as Longfellow war accusations (Edgar Allan & Mason, 1980). Poe’s negative perception of reputation and his character faced a lot of critics from scholars.
From the view on Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe work on romanticism, its evident romanticism is still present in literature work. Despite modernism phasing out sensible romanticism, its influence still remains. In the twentieth century, romanticism is still one of great inspirations according to many novelists and poets. One of the reasons romanticism had fallen is the need to express ideas in speedier styles by novelists and poets. During the transformation in modernization, world’s real life situations were set aside, this made the romantic writers not suitably fit in the new styles.
Cronin, Richard. Romantic Victorians: English Literature, 1824-1840. Springer, 2001.
Mellow, James R. Nathaniel Hawthorne in his times. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
Poe, Edgar Allan, and James Mason. The tell-tale heart. Project Gutenberg, 1980.
Wellek, René. “The Concept of” Romanticism” in Literary History. I. The Term” Romantic” and Its Derivatives.” Comparative Literature 1.1 (1949): 1-23.
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