Works Cited Not Included
"The way to find the 'real' world is not merely to measure and observe what is
outside us, but to discover our own inner ground…. This 'ground', this 'world'
where I am mysteriously present at once to myself and to the freedoms of other men,
is not a visible, objective and determined structure…It is a living
and self creating mystery of which I am myself a part, to
which I am myself my own unique door."
(Thomas Merton in Finley 45)
We have spent a good deal of this semester concentrating on the sublime. We have asked what (in nature) is sublime, how is the sublime described and how do different writers interpret the sublime. A sublime experience is recognizable by key words such as 'awe', 'astonishment' and 'terror', feelings of insignificance, fractured syntax and the general inability to describe what is being experienced. Perception and interpretation of the sublime are directly linked to personal circumstance and suffering, to spiritual beliefs and even expectation (consider Wordsworth's disappointment at Mont Blanc). It has become evident that there is a transition space between what a traveler experiences and what he writes; a place wherein words often fail but the experience is intensified, even understood by the traveler. This space, as I have understood it, is the imagination. In his quest for spiritual identity Thomas Merton offers the above quotation to illustrate what he calls 'interpenetration' between the self and the world. As travel writers engage nature through their imagination, Merton's description of the 'inner ground' is an appropriate one for the Romantic conception of the imagination. ...
... middle of paper ...
...here are similar aspects to each writer's experience. Engaging the imagination, Ramond, Wordsworth and Shelley have experienced a kind of unity; conscious of the self as the soul they are simultaneously aware of 'freedoms of other men'. I suggested in the introduction that the imagination is a transition place wherein words often fail but the experience is intensified, even understood by the traveler. For all three writers the nature of the imagination has, amazingly, been communicable. Ramond and Wordsworth are able to come to an articulate conclusion about the effects imagination has on their perceptions of nature. Shelley, however, remains skeptical about the power of the imaginative process. Nonetheless, Shelley's experience is as real, as intense as that of Ramond and Wordsworth.
1. Duncan Wu's foot note, page 403.
2 "Tintern Abbey". Line 97.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Writers of the Romantic Movement often expressed a spontaneous outpouring of feelings through nature-related symbols and imagery. In “Mutability”, Percy Shelley was no exception to other Romantic writers; he used these impulses of powerful feelings to express the inevitable change that everything in the universe undergoes. Ironically, Shelley claims that the only thing that will remain the same forever is mutability itself. While Shelley claims that everything is changing, he focuses on the mutability of the human species and its individuals.... [tags: Romantic Movement, Mutability, Percy Shelley,]
832 words (2.4 pages)
- Works of Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, and Lord Byron Literature is filled with the rise and fall of heroes, of civilizations, of men in general. The Romantic Era in England turned out works that dealt specifically with the rise and fall of the human spirit. Writers examined what makes us thrive as humans, and similarly what makes us fail. Such works commonly contain the theme of spiritual or social atrophy, and because the Industrial Revolution was in full swing at the time, these works often address the modern human break with the natural world.... [tags: Shelley Wordsworth Byron Essays]
1273 words (3.6 pages)
- Instrumental Romantic William Wordsworth was one of the most influential of all the Romantic poets. To most people Wordsworth did not look like a poet. He had nothing of a delicate feature. He almost had a rugged look. His facial expression still could be romanticized. There was something powerful about his facial expression, the wide slash of mouth, the commanding nose, and the fierce eyes, “half burning, and half smoldering, with a bitter fixture of regard.” Though capable of utmost delicacy in feeling and affection, his character was independent, craggy, intense, brooding, and inward.... [tags: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge]
1075 words (3.1 pages)
- Nature’s beauty can be seen all around us and has been and will always be there for us to appreciate; yet the way we experience and interpret nature is ever changing. The Romantic Era was a literary movement that gave a new attitude towards nature that was unique and spiritual. The Romantic movement, beginning around 1798, and carrying on well into the mid 1800s, expanded into almost every corner of Europe, into the United States, and Latin America. The ideology of the romantic era, of being completely humanistic, was the opposite of the new ideas of logic and reason of the Enlightenment.... [tags: Romanticism, William Wordsworth, J. M. W. Turner]
1240 words (3.5 pages)
- Glaciers, an integral feature of any mountainous landscape, were the focus of interest, curiosity and admiration for many travelers in the Romantic period, especially those in the Swiss region of Chamounix. During the 18th and 19th century, four of the voyagers who wrote excerpts on the glaciers were Coxe, Bourrit, Ramond and Shelley; these travelers made similar comparisons to each other regarding the nature of glaciers and the emotions evoked upon their viewing. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there was not a significant amount of scientific information known about the character of glaciers and therefore these travelers would not have had nearly the same exposure to factual inf... [tags: Coxe, Bourrit, Ramond, Shelley]
2410 words (6.9 pages)
- Romantic Characteristics in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, the author writes in the form that was different to other works from the Enlighteners. She was a Romantic but not in the sense of love towards one another. Romantics were people who admired nature and emotions and appalled order and rules. Shelly work in Frankenstein, really showed what a romantic genius she was, by challenging the unknown and the forbidden. To this day Mary Shelly is looked up as one of the pioneers next to William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge of the Romantic period.... [tags: Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley]
980 words (2.8 pages)
- The Romantic Imagination, Wordsworth, and "Tintern Abbey" Historical Context The Enlightenment, an intellectual movement of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, immediately preceded the time in which the Romantics were writing. In Britain, the work of Locke and Newton, who were proponents of empiricism and mechanism respectively, were central to Enlightenment philosophy. Locke was the founder of empiricism, the belief that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience; Newton ushered in a mechanistic worldview when he formulated a mathematical description of the laws of mechanics and gravitation, which he applied to planetary and lunar motion.... [tags: William Wordsworth Poetry]
2633 words (7.5 pages)
- The role of pleasure in literature is a very debated subject in the literary works of William Wordsworth and Percy Blythe Shelley, in which they pick up where many writers before them left off and end where many writers after them will continue. Though neither of the men were the first to discuss the role of pleasure in literature, as it has been reviewed by many with vastly different established views about that role being from that pleasure is a distraction or a hindrance, that the received pleasure is a lie that only deceives the audience and corrupts them, and other opinions that vary greatly in praise or criticism for the sake of pleasure in literature.... [tags: Literature, Poetry, Romantic poetry, Understanding]
1657 words (4.7 pages)
- The Romantic Period in England produced some of the most prolific writers in history including William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel T. Coleridge and many others. Fueled by new scientific discoveries, revolutions, and an impending Industrial Age these writers happened to share similar themes. One common theme Romantic writers shared was nature or ecology, specifically in the early years of the Romantic Movement. This romantic motif which celebrates nature appears to be an attack on the negative effects caused by the Industrial age.... [tags: Romanticism, William Wordsworth]
1060 words (3 pages)
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth
- "Ode to the West Wind" by Percy Bysshe Shelley and "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" by Wordsworth The two chosen pieces both have a dominant theme of nature. Shelley, in his poem 'Ode to the West Wind,'; uses poignant tone, while using personification and imagery to unravel his theme of nature. While Wordsworth's '...Tintern Abbey'; contains a governing theme of nature, Wordsworth uses first person narration, illusive imagery, as well as an amiable tone to avow his connection to nature.... [tags: Shelley Wordsworth Ode Tintern Essays]
705 words (2 pages)