Views on Romanticism

“Third Anniversary Discourse”

            In his article, William Jones is making the connection between Asian countries, specifically India, and England through the written word. He looks closely at how subject matters between the two countries share the same themes. He uses India as his focal point because, as he states, it is not only a source of knowledge and population, but the English also inhabit India. The idea that the two countries are not completely different via literature would be easier to accept.

The subject of Romanticism comes through in his discussion of mythology and its portrayal through Hindu poetry. He connects Hindu mythology with Grecian mythology, which I believe is a very strong idea in his article. Seeing as how Grecian mythology is a staple among Romanticists, pointing out how many of the tales coincide with each other served to make a connection between what the two countries consider Romantic. Also, his fascination with the Sanskrit language could also play a part in his idea of Romanticism, seeing as how he almost idealizes the language.

“On the Poetry of Eastern Nations”

            By focusing on how surroundings affect the poet, Jones is referring to how the landscape of the Asian countries influences and frees the Indian poets. Without the same distractions found in England, poets in India are freed to write about things that can truly be considered Romantic. This sort of limitless beauty is reflected in their poetry, making it far more beautiful than the poetry found in England.

I agree with Jones in his saying that a writer is affected by their surroundings. The beauty around them enhances their poetry to a level that is not found anywhere else. In a previous creative writing class, my professor taught us that if the writer is not inspired by the environment they find themselves in, then they are suffocated creatively. When reading this essay, the lesson my professor taught stuck in my mind.

“On the Discrimination of Romanticism”

            In this article, Lovejoy calls Romanticism a sort of “umbrella term.” Meaning that Romanticism can include a many number of things as the idea of it changes over time and across cultures. This impacts the idea of Romanticism and what it definitively means. Romanticism, according to Lovejoy, cannot be defined by merely one idea of it.

This I agree with. It also goes along with what Jones was saying in Third Anniversary Discourse.” Though he was trying to make the connection between British and Hindu Romantic poetry, there was still the idea that these poems from a different time and culture can still be considered Romantic.

“The Structure of Romantic Nature Imagery”

            Wimsatt claims that the landscape and other aspects of nature impact the statement the poem is trying to portray. The poems’ ideas are centered in the nature found in the poem. It is these ideas, based in nature, that make up Romantic poetry. In a way, Wimsatt says, Romantic poetry has its own sensibility and metaphysics based on the personality and perspectives of the author. And it is through this sensibility that the ideas specific to that author come through.


A Feminist Introduction to Romanticism

            Fay focuses on women writers during the Romantic period and how women appeared in poetry written by men and how it affected their poetry. Fay dislikes the idea of women being used for male inspiration when the women are being objectified because it is degrading to their ideals. What I found interesting was her ideas on what women used as inspiration. Women focused on critique and sometimes satirical methods, in Jane Austen’s case, in their writing. Women critiqued not only society, but also the writings of men.  Women writers during the Romantic period saw this as their way of taking how they had been portrayed in poetry for ages and subvert it by critiquing.

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