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Rebecca Biraschi

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Nature

Nature, man and poetry
Nature and sublime
One of the predominant Romantic theme is Nature. It is analyzed
in a theological and philosophical reflection on nature's creative powers
that lead to an ultimate consideration of the state of society and man's
relationship with universe. Natural forces and iconic landmarks were
associated with the "theory of sublime". In the 1st century A.D. an unknown rhetorician said that the term "sublime" expresses noble or elevated feelings and
behavior, and it was identified with beautiful. During the 18th century the
meaning of the word sublime changes. Edmund Burke, a Romantic philosopher, developed an idea where he regarded the sublime and beautiful as opposed. The sublime has its root in the feelings of fear and horror created by what is infinite and terrible: void, obscurity, loneliness, silence. The horrible beauty identified by
Burke gave aesthetic dignity to anything ugly existing in nature. This passion
caused by the great and sublime in nature, in Astonishment: a state of the soul, in
which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror.
Astonishment is the effect of sublime in its highest degree; the inferior effects
are admiration, reverence and respect. This taste for obscurity, terror and
introspection became one of the main feature of
Romantic poetry.
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who is widely
considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. In "The critique form of judgment" he clarifies Burke's definition of the sublime, mostly in contrast to the beautiful. Kant says that the beautiful in nature is not quantifiable, but rather focused only color, form, surface of an object.
Therefore, the beautiful is to be regarded as a presentation of an indeterminate concept of understanding. However, to Kant, the sublime is more infinite and can be found even in an object that has no form.
The sublime is to be regarded as a presentation of an indeterminate
concept of reason. Basically Kant argued that beauty is a temporary
response of understanding, but the sublime goes beyond the
aesthetics into a realm of reason. So he thinks that one major
aspect of the sublime is the power of mankind's mind to
recognize it. Kant transforms the sublime from a
terrifying object to something connected
to the rational mind.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelley was one of the major English romantic poet
and is regarded by some critics as the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley demonstrates a great reverence for the beauty of nature, and he feels closely connected to nature’s power.
In his early poetry, Shelley shares the romantic interest in pantheism—the belief that God runs through everything in the universe. Nature's force is the cause of all human joy, faith, goodness, and pleasure, and it is also the source of poetic inspiration and divine truth. Shelley simultaneously
recognizes that nature’s power is not wholly positive.
Nature destroys as often as it inspires or creates, and it
destroys cruelly and indiscriminately.
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was one of the English Romantic
poets who helped to launch the Romantic Age in English
literature. In his ballads nature is one of the principal themes. He shares Rousseau's faith in the goodness of nature. He has an equal trust in the good that man may get from the cultivation of his senses and feelings. Wordsworth is interested in the relationship between the natural world and the human consciousness. He believed
that man and nature are inseparable; in his
Pantheistic view nature includes both inanimate
and human nature. Nature comforts man in
sorrow, it is a source of pleasure and joy, it teaches
man to love and to act in a moral way. His poetry
offers a detailed account of this complex
interaction between man and nature.
Immanuel Kant
Ode to the west wind
In this ode the poet express his identification with nature. This composition in divided into five stanzas and each stanza is a combination of terza rima and sonnet form.
1st stanza: the effects of the west wind on the earth when autumn comes. It is seen as a destroyer and a preserver at the same time
2nd stanza: the effects of wind on the air
3rd stanza: the effects on and under the sea
4th stanza: the poet wishes he can flies and goes away from his sad situation
5th stanza: the poet is identified with the wind
Full transcript