4. Define “Dark Romanticism” as you understand it by discussing two works by different authors. Account for the rise of this kind of writing in America and evaluate its appeal and significance then and now. The Dark Side of Romanticism
Romantic literary texts focus on the expression of emotion. Authors during the Romantic period developed and integrated the idea of the individual being the main focus in life. Romantic authors focused on the individual being at the center of their own happiness and destiny and evil dwelling outside mankind. Dark Romantics believed that evil is not only found in nature and in other people but evil also dwells inside every human being. Dark Romantics argued that earlier writers had ignored the darker side of humanity. The Dark Romantics’ focus was to illustrate to readers what really makes up mankind. They present individuals as self destructive as opposed to writers in the past such as Puritans that focused on mankind prevailing over evil through the grace of God. Individuals in Dark Romanticism literature are often portrayed failing when they are trying to make themselves better people. Instead of focusing on the good of mankind, Dark Romantics wrote about the tragic and demented side of human life. This pessimistic and skeptic attitude makes way for murky, horrid, and inexplicable thoughts. But these demented thoughts are what make Dark Romantic literature so out of the ordinary and thrilling compared to literature of the past. Dark Romanticism is just that, very dark. Nature is deeply rooted in Dark Romanticism literature but in shady, sinister ways. Evil is found in the literary images of ghouls and ghosts and other creepy beings. For Dark Romantics, the world is cold and mysterious.
Gothic fiction helped to inspire many Dark Romantic works. Gothic fiction can be described as a subgenre of Dark Romanticism. It shares many similar characteristics with Dark Romantic literature. Both include themes of darkness and...
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