The Age Of The Enlightenment

1646 Words Dec 8th, 2016 7 Pages
The Age of the Enlightenment during the beginning of the 18th century was a revolution that vanquished the suffocating darkness of superstition that shrouded the Middle Ages. Revolutionary thinkers of the Enlightenment, such as Denis Diderot, René Descartes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, led western civilization out of the darkness of ignorance with a small flame generated by the power of scientific and intellectual reason. For a while, it seemed as though the reason and rationality of Enlightenment thinking would be the harbinger of peace. However, this idea of peace was merely a conjectured fantasy that disregarded the rising discontentment of a newly oppressed people. This is displayed through the perversion of the French Revolution into an irrational and passion driven bloodbath. Towards the end of the 18th century, people felt that the rigidity of scientific reason instilled by the Enlightenment was bleeding the spirit, morality, and especially the passion out of existence. The small flame of the Enlightenment was ignited into a raging fire of oppressed passion generated through the power individualistic thinking. Rather than focusing on a unified peace, revolutionaries, such as Thomas Paine, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann von Goethe and Jane Austen, of the late 18th and 19th century emphasized the passion of self-expression within the individual.
Thomas Paine exemplifies the passionate, individualistic expression of the late 18th and early 19th century in…
Open Document