The Everlasting Dark Shadow of Romanticism

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For many, saying or hearing the word romanticism evokes numerous stereotypical and prejudged definitions and emotions. The biggest reason this probably happens is because of how closely romanticism sounds like romance. The similarity of the sounds and spelling of the two words can lead to some thinking that the two words mean the same thing or are closely related. Although romanticism and romance do share some similarities in their spelling and pronunciation they couldn’t be more different. In the Merriam Webster Dictionary romance is defined as, “a love story”. The Romantic Period was not necessarily a time of true romance and love stories, although love was written about, but was instead a time of extreme emotion expressed in many different ways. One of the many ways emotion was expressed was through the use of supernatural and gothic literature and a lot of it contained horrific subject matter for the time it was written, making it anything but romantic. Expressions of thought and emotion were shown through horror and the supernatural just as much as emotion was expressed through love and romance. Many of the authors during the Romantic period submitted works, “dealing with the supernatural, the weird, and the horrible” (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). In many ways, gothic tales of horror and suspense defined the Romantic period just as much as any other type of literature at the time.

Many of the great Romantic authors wrote gothic literature at some point in their literary careers and some even created their literary legacies, perhaps unintentionally, with their tales of horror and suspense. One of the most notable authors during the Romantic period that is well known today for creating one of the greatest literary ...

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