Longfellow- Writing Incorporates Religion

Topics: Religion, Faith, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Pages: 4 (1485 words) Published: June 6, 2004
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow incorporates religious themes into his poetical work. His religious beliefs were in favor of his Christian faith, unlike others who found all the negative aspects of Catholicism. His poetical works such as "Christus", "The Divine Tragedy" and "The Bells of San Blas" show his positivity toward the Catholic church. In Longfellow's life, he went through periods of depression as a reaction to his wives' deaths. During these times of sorrow, Longfellow turned to his faith which helped him move through the mourning process. In Longfellow's pre-poet days, he served as a priest and went to college attending a religious class. Longfellow took his religion seriously, and expressed his fealty through his work.

"Christus", although thin and disorganized, was Longfellow's attempt at a religious epic. Longfellow loosely employs the virtues of faith, hope and charity as the basis of organization. It was originally planned as a dramatizing of the process of Christianity, but he only left his mark in the first and third parts of "Christus". Before he began writing "Christus", he was in a loftier mood. This uplifting mood eventuated into this attempted religious epic. Spoken by Edith, a character in "Christus", "Yea, I believe The Inner Light, and not the Written Word, To be the rule of life.", tells that Longfellow believes that the inner religious self should be taken more seriously than writing. He believes that whatever faith is in the heart is was that person should believe in.

In Longfellow's background, he was seemed to be raised as a respectable Catholic. Longfellow never appeared to break the law, meaning he was brought up well and behaved with dignity. Even though the Wadsworth's and Longfellow's were predominantly enterprising laymen, men who are not clerics, they did have faith. Longfellow's brother, Samuel Longfellow, became a priest, and Longfellow wrote a hymn for his (Samuel Longfellow's) ordination into the church. Overall,...
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