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Romanticism and Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant
by

Jonathan Dukes

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of Romanticism and Thanatopsis

Romanticism English III CP Characteristics of Romaticism: Individualism Imagination Human Emotions Idealization of Nature Spiritual/Supernatural The individual is most important and emphasized. Ideas are expressed without the restraint of reason. Emotions are explored and fully expressed. Nature is divine, beyond beautiful, and idolized. God and the concept of eternity are key. William Cullen Bryant: Bibliography Poetry: The Embargo: Or, Sketches of the Times, a Satire, 1808; Poems, 1821, 1832, 1834, 1836, 1839; The fountain and other
Poems, 1842; The White-Footed Deer and Other Poems, 1844; Poems, 1854; Thirty Poems, 1864, 1869; Poems, 1871, 1875;
The Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant, 1876; The Flood of Years, 1878. Poetry Translations: The Iliad of Homer, 1870; The Odyssey of Homer, 1871, 1872. Nonfiction: Letters of a Traveller: Or, Notes of Things Seen in Europe and America, 1850; Reminiscences of the Evening Post,
1851; A Discourse on the Life and Genius of James Fenimore Cooper, 1852; Letters of a Traveller, Second Series, 1859; A
Discourse on the life and Genius of Washington Irving, 1860; Letters from the East, 1869; Orations and Addresses, 1873;
Lectures on Poetry, 1844. A library of Poetry and Song, 1871. Thanatopsis William Cullen Bryant's poem "Thanatopsis" is considered to be the best of a number of poems he wrote on the subject of death. William Cullen Bryant William Cullen Bryant was one of the first authentic voices of the Romantic Movement in America. Simplicity Emotion Careful Observation Uplifting Sympathy Diction Variety Power Religion Imporatance Morals The poem whose title in Greek means "a meditation on death." First published in 1821 and is a meditative poem of 82 lines. Summary of Thanatopsis Thanatopsis is a poem focused around the eternal resting place of humans as being one with nature and death is praised for its tie to the Earth. This poem speaks of death as a beauty and softens the fear that most humans poses when death is brought into the psyche. Thanatopsis portrays the human becoming nature. Thanatopsis is considered a romantic poem because of several elements including Human Emotions, small traces of Individualism, Imagination, Spiritual/Supernatural, and a large portion of Nature Idealization. Born in Cummington, Massachusetts; November 3, 1794. He died in New York, New York; June 12, 1878. Human Emotion Imagination Individualism Spiritual/Supernataral Idealization of Nature Quote: "She has a voice of gladness, and a smile and eloquence of beauty, and she glides into his darker musings, with a mild and healing sympathy." line 4-7 This quote applies to Human Emotions because "she," Earth is given human qualities and emotions for the reader to easily find connections with and understand in a clearer sense. Quote: "And, lost each human trace, surrendering up thine individual being, shalt thou go to mix for ever with the element." lines 25-27 This specific quote explains the element of individualism because it speaks of the individual, the reader, as becoming one with the Earth. The individual is focused on and praised highly within this passage. Quote: " Yet not to thine eternal resting place shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down." lines 32-34 Imagination is greatly applied within this quote because the reader is given a strong image of a fine couch of comfort and a feeling of death on Earth as a beautiful place. Quote: "Of the great tomb of man. The Golden
sun, the planets, all the infinite host of heaven." lines 46-47 This quote displays the characteristic of Spiritual/ Supernatural because it speaks of eternity and final resting place with God in heaven and alongside the planets of the solar system. Quote:"The hills rocked-ribbed and ancient as the sun -the vales stretching in pensive quietness between; the venerable woods -rivers that move in majesty, and the complaining brooks that make the meadows green; and poured round all, old ocean's gray and melancholy waste." lines 38-44 Nature is extensively applied to this entire poem, but in specific this quote explains fully that nature is the greatest, most divine, and most beautiful place. A great amount of diction is used within this passage of the poem the emphasize nature's pure beauty. Works Cited Bryant, William Cullen. "Thanatopsis." The North American Review. (1817). 4-7, 25-27, 32-34, 38-44, 46-49. Print. 27 Feb. 2013.
Curley, Thomas M. "Thanatopsis." Masterplots. (Masterplots Classics). EHS2. CD-ROM. 2000. 27 Feb. 2013.
Google Images. "William Cullen Bryant." 06 Mar. 2013
Price, Victoria. "The Poetry of Bryant." Masterplots. (Masterplots Classics). EHS2. CD-ROM. 2000. 28 Feb. 2013.
Price, Victoria. "Thanatopsis." Masterplots. (Masterplots Classics). EHS2. CD-ROM. 2000. 28 Feb. 2013.
Price, Victoria. "William Cullen Bryant." Masterplots. (Author Biography). EHS2. CD-ROM. 2000. 27 Feb. 2013. Bryant spend his childhood under the opposing influences of his father, a liberal-minded physician who later became a Unitarian. Bryant was interested in nature and spent many hours roaming through the fields and woods near his home in Massachusetts. Bryant wished to study at Harvard, his father agreed, but his grandfather insisted that it would be a needless extravagance, so he was sent to Williams where he spent 1 year before returning to Cummington to study law. William Cullen Bryant wrote several versions of Thanatopsis while he was still in his teens.
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