Romanticism In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Frost At Midnight'

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Romanticism was the movement which challenged the norms and status quo of the day, built upon individual experience and placing an emphasis on human expression and emotion. Texts from the Romantic period were focused on the philosophical enquiry of societal views and perceptions to a great extent. Summarised by David Blayney Brown’s quote, Romantic texts explored a variety of perceptions, paradigms and paradoxes with each text being unique yet interconnected. This interconnection occurs through similar perceptions and paradoxes being shared across texts, making them common to the Romanic movement. Romantic texts include Frost at Midnight and Rime of the Ancient Mariner (both by Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley), Ghost of…show more content…
Romantics produced texts which were humble and natural rather than sophisticated. These texts shifted the art world’s audience from upper class, highly educated individuals to the common people. Humble texts with simpler ideas, celebrating the common person became more common and dominant in Romantic texts. ‘Frost at Midnight’, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a humble, reflective text regarding a persona, alone in their home reflecting on their life and the life they want for their sleeping child. ‘Frost at Midnight’ is a humble text as it is focused on one person, in a small unknown village. The persona is not depicted as someone of great social class or status, rather a common worker or villager. Coleridge’s description of the home as being surrounded by ‘sea, hill and wood’ emphasizes the universality of the location and the persona – the poem is not bound to those near the sea or who live isolated in forests. The repetition of this phrase places further emphasis on the lack of a set location. The poem itself is written ‘conversational’ style. The choices of diction are basic and the structure is relaxed. There is no set rhyming scheme thus meaning the reader can read the poem as…show more content…
As per the Romantic Movement, emotion and a person’s instinct reigned over order, logic and conscious mind. Felicia Hemans’ Indian Woman’s Death-Song focuses on the strength and power of untamed human emotion rather than logic and conscious thought. The poem itself was inspired by a distraught woman, foreshadowing the intense emotion which is encompassed in the rest of the poem. The canoe the woman is standing in can be seen as a metonym for the woman’s true emotional state. The canoe is described as ‘light’ and ‘frail’ suggesting the woman has no ‘social’ weight behind her emotions and that she is barely holding together. By social weight, the woman has no status or power socially, correlating with the rest of the poem and her feelings towards the treatment of women. The audience knows her actions are extreme and unnecessary, allowing for a better connection to form to her and the morals of the poem. People, particularly women, would understand and empathise with the pain the woman would be feeling knowing that a decision to end a life does not come easily. Furthermore, the diction choices of ‘proudly’, ‘dauntlessly’, ‘triumphantly’ and ‘glorious’ in regards to the woman’s actions contrast to the action itself, they are not words typically associated with murder and suicide. These strong descriptive words further expand on the idea of the woman’s

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