Romanticism Dbq Analysis

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The romantic movement swept across Europe during the nineteenth century. Poets, artists, and musicians at this time encompassed romanticism’s characteristics into their works. These documents will help to gain a better understanding of the characteristics through analysis and explanation. Romanticism is significant due to its characteristics of emotional exuberance, unrestrained imagination, and spontaneity in both artistic and personal life. To begin with, the literary and artistic scenes during this period were filled with emotive individuals. Document 5 comes from Biographical Notes about Beethoven by Franz Gerhard Wegeler and Ferdinand Ries, regarding his emotional outburst in 1803. Beethoven, the “master of romantic music”, admired Napoleon…show more content…
Document 8 is sourced directly from Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. She discusses the conception of her novel and says, “… for supremely frightful would be the the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.” By creating “life”, a mockery is made of a higher being, which is an occurrence that did not happen often at this time. Although her novel is a satire of the Enlightenment, which romanticism was a response to, the surface of the novel tells of the creation of a monster. Shelley, in an attempt to inform as well as entertain, wrote Frankenstein, displaying the period’s amount of imagination. Document 10 takes a painting called Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railways by J. M. W, Turner , which portrays the railroad, as we can easily tell from the title. Railroads were a turning point in the Industrial Revolution, an era that was taking place at the same time of the Romantic era. Artists are often influenced by the life that is occurring around them, evident in this painting because Turner depicted a railroad. However, just from the painting, the scene’s subject or purpose was not obvious. By using only blurs of color, Turner allowed audiences to use their own imagination to produce an image and develop their own thoughts. According to McKay’s A History of Western Society, Turner depicted nature’s…show more content…
In Document 6, a monologue is taken from the play Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which states, “I’ve studied now Philosophy and Jurisprudence, Medicine, and even, alas! Theology… And now I’m nearly ten years through… and see there’s nothing we can know.” The character in distress has forgotten to be spontaneous and spent his time researching a myriad subjects all to be disappointed by the outcome. The result of the character in Faust is what romantics tried to avoid by escaping to spiritual heights through their art. Similarly, Document 11 takes an excerpt from What is Romanticism? by Charles Baudelaire and specifies, “… Romanticism is to say modern art - that is, intimacy, spirituality, color, aspiration towards the infinite…” This expresses spontaneity in that it sees no end in aspiring, creating an excitement to know the unknown and attain the unattained. They sought inspiration in nature and became fascinated with history’s change over time. Baudelaire’s literary work was to inform the people of romanticism’s tenets, perhaps even inspiring those to learn more and take spontaneous
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