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Remnants Of Romanticism Essay, Research Paper

Remnants of Romanticism

Few people today give a real and positive meaning to the word Romanticism, even though our country began with the romantic ideal of personal freedom. Our fore fathers staked their very lives to pursue the romanticized dream of living their lives according to their beliefs, subject to no one else s. The weakness with Romanticism is that quite often when the ideal is achieved, the belief so strongly rooted in this Romanticism dies with that success or victory.

Romanticism represents the beauty of a dreamer s wish for an ideal and beautiful world. Ironically, the expression and fulfillment of these ideals have quite often lead to conflict and war. The Holy Crusades, The French Revolution, our own revolution of 1776 as well as our Civil War are unfortunate examples of this. But, when their romantic ideals were tested under fire and blood, many found the cost of their beliefs to be far too high.

Romanticism is faithfully situated neither in choice of subjects nor in exact truth, but in ones deepest feelings, emotions and ideals. When people look for it outside of themselves, they will only find romantic expressions and views of others, not their own. There are as many kinds of romance and beauty as there are ways of seeking happiness. This is clearly explained by the “philosophy of progress”. As there have been as many ideals as there have been ways in which the people of the earth have understood ethics, love, and religion; so romanticism will not consist in a perfect performance, but in a generation comparable to the ethical disposition of the age. It is because some have located it in a perfection of technique, rather than within their own lifestyle, that we have had the embellishment of romanticism, without question the most intolerable of all forms. Thus it is necessary, first and foremost, to get to know those aspects of nature and those human situations that many artists of the past have disdained or have not known.

Two artists who expressed Romanticism well, Casper David Friedrich and Delacroix, both developed precise techniques in order to produce specific associations in the mind of the viewer. To correlate verbal concepts they would, for example, endow inanimate objects with human values, such as the wild trees and the shimmering moonlight used in the paintings of Friedrich, which were used to suggest an infinity of human longing. The result was often sentimental or ludicrous; however, his painterly style and color sense exalted the romantic attitude in a singular fashion.

Romanticism is a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature, a general exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect. It is a turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of humanity and its moods and mental personalities, as expressed so strongly in the “hippie movement” of the 1960 s. The ideals of these young people expressed Romanticism at its modern best with their preoccupation with self expression, realization of personal ideals, and rejection of main stream rules of behavior. Romanticism expresses a preoccupation with the genius, the hero, and the exceptional figure in general, focusing on his passions and inner struggles. It idealizes the view of the artist as a supremely individual creator, whose creative spirit is more important than strict adherence to formal rules and traditional procedures, an emphasis upon imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth.

Romanticism, by nature, is a very personal and subjective way of viewing life and how one lives it. A true romantic should be able to live their own ideals and by the very definition of their beliefs allow others to do the same.

Wouldn t it be romantic if that were the case?

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