Essay on Romantic Expression in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Essay on Romantic Expression in The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

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“Wine is bad as well as good”; it heightens the emotions of the drinker just as the emotional appeal of the writing during the Romantic Era were amplified (Hamilton 72). Any literary era must follow a literary concept of either Apollonian or Dionysian dichotomy. Under Apollonian, literature embodies Apollo, the God of the Sun, who represents order and reason (30). Under Dionysian, literature embodies Dionysus, the God of Wine, who represents the contradictory ideas of “ecstatic joy and of savage brutality” (68). The Romantic Era followed the belief that the world is not bounded by reason; thus, the world is chaotic. Additionally, romantics focus on the emotions they expressed in their writing. Therefore, the Romantic Era is strictly Dionysian in nature. Due to the Romantic Era’s major beliefs in the supernatural mystery of nature, personal expression, and its catharsis, the era correlates itself to the Dionysian ideology.
Romantics perceive nature as inherently good and not being bound by reason. However, they also understood that nature is chaotic in its actions. Dionysus is the god of the harvest; thus, he can be directly associated with the patterns of nature (Hamilton 56). Just as the perception of nature is envisioned differently, it is due to Dionysus also being the god of wine. “Wine could be kind and beneficent” or cruel and drive people to terrible deeds (67). The chaotic nature of wine is responsible for the chaotic actions of nature. In “The Devil and Tom Walker” Washington Irving narrates the life of Tom Walker, an anti-hero, who makes a deal with the devil for riches. Irving uses detailed descriptions of the settings to express the changes of Tom Walker. Irving’s detailed description of “the foliage...


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... Web. 12 April 2014.
Dickinson, Emily. “My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close.” Glencoe Literature. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2009: 440. Print.
Dickinson, Emily. “The Soul Selects Her Own Society.” Glencoe Literature. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2009: 440. Print.
Francis, Rogers. "The Final Days of Edgar Allan Poe: Clues to an Old Mystery Using 21st Century Medical Science." EBSCOHost. Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, 2009. Web. 12 April 2014.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. Boston: Little, Brown and, 1942. Print.
Irving, Washington. “The Devil and Tom Walker.” Glencoe Literature. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2009: 242-250. Print.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. The Birth of Tragedy And The Case of Wagner. New York: Vintage, 1967. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Raven.” Glencoe Literature. New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2009: 256-260. Print.

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