What is the influence of Romanticism on today's culture?


The Romantics also stressed the importance of nature in our daily lives. One of the earliest and best known romantic poets, William Wordsworth, wrote this line in the poem "Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey":

For I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes the still, sad music of humanity.

These lines indicate the introspective, personal nature of the romantic poets, writers, and artists. To them, the natural world was more than just something to be analyzed scientifically, it was something to be felt and experienced. The path to self-knowledge and to God lay in the understanding of nature on an individual basis.

Romanticism also gave rise to a parallel movement sometimes referred to as “gothic” or “dark romanticism.” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, published in the 1820s, is a good example of this type of romanticism. It is important still, because it was instrumental in starting the genres of horror and science fiction, which are still prevalent in literature and the arts today.

Frankenstein was ahead of its time thematically, as it questioned the value of scientific advancement in light of man’s inherent fallibility, asking the still crucial question, “Can we really control what we create?” Think about the technology that we have created but cannot control in modern life: computers and communications--hacking is an unexpected consequence of modern technology. Nuclear weapons—how long is it going to take before a fringe group sets off a dirty bomb somewhere? Social media—look at how terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda are able to recruit globally.

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