Literature Essays on Romanticism versus Realism
The first poem is a romantic one as is evident from the beauty and appeal of the words used. In romanticism, writers compose their works in a way that invokes feelings, imagination and even fantasy. One can see it in the poem, for instance, the phrase “she walks like in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies” reveals feelings and fantasy of the impeccable beauty of the lady to the reader. It shows some capacity of freedom in terms of author’s expression. The author has hidden the character from the reader, which is a typical example of a romantic piece of art. A lady in the description is not openly shown in terms of her character or the kind of person she is. The author only depicts the appearance in order to awake feelings and fantasy of the reader. The character described in this poem may not be real but supernatural, while in realism there are real and normal characters.
This poem is full of aesthetics as seen in the descriptions. For instance, the poem indicates that the character’s voice is “so soft, so calm, yet eloquent”, presenting a beautiful portrayal. Nevertheless, this aesthetics does not show the reality as it is but an imagination of what should happen. The writer may have wanted the reader to create a fantasy about the character. In romantic writings, authors tend to put more emphasis on the sensory experiences of what happens in the real world. In this poem, the author does not concentrate on the character and experiences but wants to create the mental imaginations of how things look.
Imagination in this poem also classifies it as one of romantic works. It is full of creative power and intuition rather than of dwelling on objectivity of issues. The poem tells the reader about fancy of some mind that is “at peace with all below”. The author does not come up with statements that describe the truth about what happens in the real world, instead, he centers on the emotional and the imaginative components of issues at hand.
Another point that makes this poem romantic is the fact that the author tells, rather than shows the story. The author explains to the reader what is happening, letting the reader form imaginations of the correct situation in the ideal world. Besides, there seems to be exaggeration in this poem in order to create some form of perfection. A statement like “A mind at peace with all below, a heart whose love is innocent” may be a dramatization of what really is going on in the recesses of person’s soul. It may rather indicate some supernatural power somewhere above the “below” where normal people live.
This poem does not have a proper chronological order of events for the reader to follow, instead of it, the style is disturbed and creates suspense. The starting statement does not make the story consistent and develops into the closing statement. This is a true characteristic of romanticism: lack of chronology in occurrence of events. Moreover, the poem does not give all information to the reader as much of it seems to be withheld.
The second poem is realistic in terms of the manner that the author chose. The author does not attempt to bring out some form of beauty and fantasy, the poem shows the real world as it is. It has detailed information about the normal events that take place in the real world within a certain period. This is different from romanticism that only invokes feelings but does not shows reality of life. Another fact is the use of real characters in the work. For instance, the narrator cries because the father, the Captain, is dead. He narrates the situation as it is. These characters are real people experiencing life as it passes. The vivid description the author makes in this poem is different from the one given in the first poem. This is evident from the fact that the author does not seek to appease the feelings and fantasy of the reader, but presents the reality of the happenings. The author does not make all things beautiful when they are not, but shows us the real life. The author says: “O the bleeding drops of red, where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead”.
Realistic poems describe the subjects in a contemporary setup with emphasis on the characters rather than on the events and feelings created by those events. This is the main difference as romantic poems concentrate on sensory perception. In the second poem, the narrator says that he walks with mournful tread on the deck his captain lies, fallen cold and dead. This poem is realistic because it does not try to create ideal situations and imaginations for the reader but directly shows objectivity. In fact, statements used in the poem are true reflections of life situations. They are direct and do not show any spiritual aspects. This is not like in the first poem, where imagination is the key component of the story. Romanticism shows some form of spiritual imagination in the writings.
The author shows, rather than tells the story in the poem, which is an indication of realism. The narrator is present at the scene and is part of the events. There is the use of “my” and present tense as it is obvious from this statement: “My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still”. This is unlike romanticism where author decide to tell stories., the story in this poem is objective and there is no unnecessary overemphasis. The poem shows us what really happens without hiding some of the issues that may seem hurting and shameful, something one cannot find in romanticism. Therefore, objectivity is an important component of the realistic writings.
The narrator presents the chronological occurrence of events from the start to the end. In realistic poem, the reader easily follows the story, unlike romanticism. For instance, in this poem, the narrator shows what happens in the ship as it approaches the shows to dock. Masses wait for the dock in order to welcome the narrator. In addition, the reader has access to full information of what happens and the description of the reality. The message is rather direct and easy to comprehend. The audience easily identifies with the characters, message and themes of the poem. Romanticism poems mostly lack such chronological and driect presentation of ideas, themes and message. In some cases, such themes and messages are hidden in symbols and other literary devices and tools.