Ralph Waldo Emerson was truly one of our great geniuses. Emerson was a major leader of the philosophical movement of Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism was belief in a higher reality than that found everyday life that a human can achieve. Many people and ways of life throughout his career including Neo-Platonism, the Hindu religion, Plato and even his wife influenced Emerson. He also inspired many Transcendentalists like Thoreau. Emerson didn’t win any major awards, but he did win the love and appreciation of his readers. Emerson wrote many genres of writing including poetry and sermons. but his best writing is found in his essays. Even though he is noted for his essays, he was also a strong force in poetry. Emerson was known for presenting ideas in an expressive style. He wrote about numerous issues including nature, society, conspiracy and freedom. Some of Emerson’s famous titles Essays, which was published in 1844, Poems, which was published in 1847, Nature: Addresses and Lectures, 1849, and Representative Men, 1850. In 1860, he published Conduct of Life, which was the first of his works to receive immediate popularity. In these works you were able to see the influence Plato and Neo-Platonism had of him. Plato was an ancient Greek philosopher. He developed the notion of a higher reality that exists beyond the powers of human comprehension. Plato explained that the idea of absolute goodness transcends human description. Ralph Waldo Emerson found motivation to write in anything he did, whether it was visiting England, the Transcendental Movement or if it was abolishing slavery. He didn’t receive much fame during his lifetime, but after he passed away in1882, he was remembered for all of his writing, not just one good essay. Emerson was the most important figure during the Romantic Period. He left his mark on writing, especially the Romantic Period.
Bibliography "Emerson, Ralph Waldo." Microsoft Encarta. CD-ROM. 1998 ed....
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