The Romantic Revolution By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

2436 Words Oct 28th, 2016 10 Pages
Romanticism is often associated with positive emotions. When one hears of a “romantic,” he or she would imagine a young lover viewing the world through rose-tinted lenses or a young man waxing poetic about mountain landscapes. One would rarely think of insane asylums, straightjackets, and hallucinations. However, as Tim Blanning suggests in his book The Romantic Revolution, the Romantic literary movement was just as preoccupied with the darker aspects of the human subconscious. As well as focusing on the beauty of love, the sublime, and dreams, Romanticism also had a darker focus on nightmares, sexual repression, the supernatural, and the mad; and no other author embodies these darker characteristics of Romanticism as well as Edgar Allen Poe. Almost all of Poe’s work focuses on death, madness, and the limits of reason; and his characters are often unreliable and deranged. Instead of writing about love or nature, Poe focuses heavily on the darker side of the human consciousness and embodies the darker aspects of Romanticism. In the section of The Romantic Revolution entitled “Great Wits are Sure to Madness Near Allied,” Tim Blanning argues that Romantics, unlike followers of the Enlightenment movement, took a sympathetic view of madness and the insane. The Enlightened viewed the mad as lesser because they lacked the most essential asset of Enlightenment thought: reason. Conversely, “introspection, combined with a belief in the paramountcy of the individual prompted Romantics…

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