Feudalism In Romantic Poetry

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A dictum from Heraclitus may illustrate the origin of romantic poetry, “when we are awake we have a world in common, but when we are asleep each has his own world” (Quoted by O'Connell 35). As conceived from the innermost being, romantic poems have a close relationship with dream. However, as the definitions and characteristics are controversial, some critics oppose to use the term “Romanticism”. For instance, Arthur Lovejoy criticizes that “Romanticism” is an obscure norm when defined by associating the nature and emotion as even Plato can be regarded as a pioneer in romantic poetry according to this definition (Lovejoy 230). However, romantic poetry cannot be defined with a linguistic entitle without considering the historical process (Wellek 2) for it appeared in a specific period after the revolution in France and the Enlightenment, when the awareness of rationalism started to spreed. Romantic poetry is a genre which is used by poets to transcend…show more content…
As the revolution in France altered the thoughts of poets, they initiated to use poems to resist the unequal society. For example, leaves with cold tone are depicted in the poem “Ode to the West Wind” as a representation for feudalism, which has been “dying” (Shelley Stanza.2), “decaying” (Stanza.2), and “quivering” (Stanza.3), while the “fierce wind” accompanying with rain awakens the Mediterranean and will drive the leaves away, implying the awareness of liberty has formed and revolutions are generating. In the end of this poem, Shelly proposes a “prophesy” that the tyranny of feudalism society will be replaced, arousing enthusiasm within the people. In this poem, substances in the nature are applied to be symbols in order to attack the feudalism and praise the willing for liberty. Thus, symbolism is applied in romantic poems to analyze the humanity and scorn the
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