top-rated free essay

The Symbolic Use of Nature in the Romantic Period

By brianolejniczak Jan 26, 2012 521 Words
LITR 211
English Literature 18th Century to the Present
Week 6
January 15, 2012
Essay #1
“The symbolic use of nature in the Romantic Period”
Olejniczak, Brian
#4029035

The Romantic period has very little to do with its actual name. Rather, the authors of this period used descriptive imagery and extensively referenced nature because the use of nature is symbolic. There are many authors of the Romantic period that illustrate this point.

Instead of embracing the political lifestyle of the period like other era authors did, the Romantics turned to nature for inspiration. “Romantics turned to nature for self fulfillment. They were turning away from the values and ideas of the previous era, embracing new ways of expressing their imagination and feelings. Instead of a concentration on ‘head,’ the intellectual focus of reason, they preferred to rely on the self, in the radical idea of individual freedom. Instead of striving for perfection, the Romantics preferred ‘the glory of the imperfect.’” (Lombardi 2012.) The Romantic author’s stressed the importance of the individual and boldness over the ideals of the coming Victorian age’s ideals of loyalty and fraternity.

The onset of the Romantic period is said to have begun with the writings of William Wordsworth with such works as “Lines written in early spring” and “I wandered lonely as a cloud.” In Wordsworth’s ‘Lines Written In Early Spring’ he states

“To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.” (Wordsworth Line 5-8.)

Here you can clearly see Wordsworth’s use of nature and how it affects the human soul. In this poem the speaker is sitting in a very lush meadow that is graphically described with such words like “sweet” and “budding twigs.” Wordsworth is very elaborate in his

description of the meadow in which he is sitting in. Wordsworth looks at Nature and through his views sad thoughts come to his mind. Here he expresses his conviction in that knowledge of reality is reached through emotions and intuitions that Nature generates at being observed by man. Being Nature the real representation of reality and godliness as well.

“Through primrose tufts, in that green bower
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths
And ‘tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breaths.” (Wordsworth Line 9-12)
In lines nine through twelve, he observes nature at its peak, in all its splendor and beauty. He tells about its dynamic development when he describes how the periwinkle trains its branches through the grass. He also displays his implication in this development of natural events expressing his desire for the flowers to rejoice at their existence.

Wordsworth’s poems initiated the Romantic era by emphasizing feeling, instinct, and pleasure above formality and mannerism.

Lombardi, Esther (2012). Ask.com: Romantic Period: Where did it all begin? Retrieved on January 12, 2012 from http://classiclit.about.com/od/britishromantics/a/aa_britromantic.htm

Wordsworth, William. Editor Bartleby Bookstore. “Lines Written In Early Spring” Retrieved on January 13, 2012 from http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww130.html

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • The Romantic Period

    ...Romantic music is a term describing a style of Western classical music that happened roughly from 1810 to 1900. It formed part of Romanticism, the artistic and literary movement that emerged in the second half of the 18th century in Europe. Romanticism doesn’t necessarily refer to romantic love, though the theme was common in many pieces compo...

    Read More
  • Romantic Period

    ...Romantic Period (1820-1900) Characteristic of Music -it is a manifestation of one’s feelings -it is an expression of emotion -among the different periods of civilization, Baroque, Renaissance, it was during the Romantic period wherein the expression of feelings was clearly emphasized thru music. Romanticism -is a movement which means...

    Read More
  • Romantic Period

    ...Romantic Period 1820-1900 General Notes: • Cultural Movement that stressed ⁃ Emotion ⁃ Imagination ⁃ Individualism Diverse and Complex • Fascination with Fantasy • Revered ⁃ Middle Ages ⁃ Chivalry ⁃ Romance • Inspired by ⁃ Medieval Folk Ballads ⁃ Tales of Fantasy ⁃ Adventure ...

    Read More
  • Romantic Period

    ...British Literature Exam #1- The Romantic Period What is imagination, the act or power of forming mental images of what is not present. The use of imagination in Romantic poetry was vital to the success of poets. Imagination allows the poet to transform different ideas into one great thought. Using this attracts an audience and pulls them in...

    Read More
  • Romantic Period

    ...Dual English Historical Notes The Romantic Period the shortest period scholars singled out 6 poets- Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Percy, Shelley, Keats, and Blake- and constructed notions of a unified Romanticism on the basis of their works. They didn’t all get along though In 1798, the year of Lyrical Ballads, neither of the author...

    Read More
  • Symbolic Use of Nature in a Story of an Hour and Summer

    ...that writers communicate these idea. Both writers develop their ideas with the use of many symbols, particularly the season and the nature. Season functions as a universal symbol between the two works. In A Story, Mrs. Mallard could see the trees begin to grow, breath the fresh air, hear the beautiful singing and the countless sparrows tw...

    Read More
  • The Symbolic Nature of Language

    ... The Symbolic Nature of Language Student Name: Diana All the information needed is in the textbook and in your personal experience; use both to your full advantage. Part 1: How does language allow self-reflection (pp. 102-103)? Write a paragraph of approximately 100 words. A good place to start is to discuss what self-reflection is. Next, e...

    Read More
  • Essay on the Romantic Period

    ...From this perspective, the biota found in each country represents a major component of the country’s wealth. Humans have always depended upon Earth’s biological wealth for food and materials, and as animals, we have always exploited wild species for food. 2. There are two kinds of value: instrumental and intrinsic.  Instrumental value ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.