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Romanticism and Nature Discussion

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Lisette Gibson

on 7 September 2017

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Transcript of Romanticism and Nature Discussion

Niagara Falls was one important symbol of the Sublime
Man just one part of transcendent nature.
The ideal is COSMIC UNITY.
Humans should strive for intuitive connections that go beyond the rational.
Sometimes--led to a form of Pantheism
Romantic views of nature
as they moved to jobs in the city…
Revolutions and new nations--period of revolt and expanding nationalisms
Industrial revolution/rapid social change
Population of Europe will double in the 19th-century
What’s happening in the world?
Enlightenment Thought Vs. Romanticism: A Series of Contrasts
JMW Turner. Shipwreck. 1805
Nature and the Landscape
“I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun/I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags./ I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,/ If you want me again look for me under your feet.
As Walt Whitman wrote in “Song of Myself”
Artists, philosophers and creative writers focused on nature.…
While many folks lost touch with the natural life of the “village” …

Heroic or Revolutionary Individual
Nationalism (and folk traditions)
Major themes of the Romantic period include
Enlightenment 1700-1800
Romantic Period 1790-1850 +-
Realism 1850-1900
Impressionism/Post-Impressionism - 1910
Modernism 1900-1960
Postmodern 1960-present?
John Constable, _The Haywain_, 1821
John Constable. Wivenhoe Park, Essex. 1816

Original Title: Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying: Typhoon Coming On.

Turbulent Scenes
focus on nature at its most extreme
Sea primary symbol of the "sublime"
JMW Turner, British Painter of the Sublime
American Romanticism: Transcendentalism
Key Figures:
Walt Whitman.
Leaves of Grass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Henry David Thoreau.

Thomas Cole. The Oxbow (View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts After A Thunderstorm) .1836
Albert Bierstadt. Rocky Mountains: Lander's Peak. 1863.
Qualities of Romanticism
Spontaneity, Intuition, Feeling, Imagination, Wonder
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog,
oil painting c. 1818, by German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. It currently resides in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany.
Sublime scenes were awe-inspiring and tended to life onlookers into a heightened state of awareness.”


This novel is an extended meditation on the relationship between humans and knowledge and humans and nature.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
and Nature

Philosophers like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau suggested that man was born into a natural, positive state.


The concept of the “Noble Savage” had earlier roots in European and earlier, Greek lore.
The Noble Savage--humans living in a state of nature.

Rousseau and the Noble Savage

Images of the Iroquois confederation fed romantic ideas about Native Americans. These contrasted with the earlier representations of “barbaric” natives.

Native Americans as Proof

Does Mary Shelley suggest that natural man is good?

Themes of the person who overreaches became newly important in many works of the romantic period.
Consider Mephistopheles, who meets Goethe’s Faust in the German play of the same name and tempts him to sell his soul for knowledge.

Man’s Overreaching Ambition

Shelley, like her lover/husband and other members of her writing circle, was fascinated with images of Promethean heroes.

Shelley and the Promethean figure

Is the Promethean struggle a positive or dangerous thing, on the whole?
Does Shelley, like Goethe, worry about the overwhelming effects of human arrogance?

According to Shelley

New interest in representative heroes

National identity and National Pride

In the United States, such larger-than-life figures were sometimes associated with the Abolition movement-- as with FREDERICK DOUGLASS

Russell, William T.
Pittsburgh from the Salt Works at Saw Mil
l, 1843. From the Library and Archives Division, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA.
JMW Turner. The Slave Ship. 1840.


JMW Turner _SnowStorm Steam Boat Off a Harbour's Mouth._Oil on Canvas
For more examples, see http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/the-sublime/the-romantic-sublime-r1109221 for examples of Romantic Sublime
The Nightmare, 1781. Oil painting by Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli (1741–1825)
The afterlife of Frankenstein


Frankenstein (1910)--one-reel Edison Studios film, recently recovered.
Life Without Soul (1915)--five-reel version.
Frankenstein (1931)--Universal film with Boris Karloff.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)--with Elsa Lanchester.
Son of Frankenstein (1939)--with Basil Rathbone.
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)--Lon Chaney, Jr.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)--Bela Lugosi.
House of Frankenstein (1944)--Glenn Strange.
House of Dracula (1945)--last of Universal's horror series.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)--Glenn Strange.
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)--Hammer Films with Christopher Lee.
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)--pieces of teen corpses.
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)--Hammer with Michael Gwynn.
Frankenstein 1970 (1958)--Boris Karloff.
How To Make a Monster (1958)--make-up man's revenge.
Frankenstein's Daughter (1959)--son of creates woman.
The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)--Hammer with Kiwi Kingston.
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)--Japanese Toho Studios.
Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)--British, with android.
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)--p.u.
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)--Hammer, revenge.
Mad Monster Party (1968)--Rankin/Bass, stop-motion.
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)--yes, we know this.
Horror of Frankenstein (1970)--Hammer.
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)--Lon Chaney, Jr.
Lady Frankenstein (1971)--woman builds man.
Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1972)--Spanish.
Frankenstein (1972)--Dan Curtis Productions, made-for-tv.
Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)--Michael Sarrazin; and see Jane Seymour get her head ripped off.
Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (1973)--brain transplants.
Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1974)--French-Italian.
Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974)--Hammer.
Young Frankenstein (1974)--Mel Brooks parody.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)--the cult musical.
Terror of Frankenstein (1977)--fairly literal adaptation of the Shelley novel.
Frankenstein Island (1981)--John Carradine plus spiders, snakes, and Amazons.
Frankenstein (1982)--stars Robert Powell.
Frankenstein 90 (1984)--Frankenstein descendent and cultured creature.
Frankenweenie (1984)--resurrected pet dog.
Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)--tabloid scoop on return of monster.
Weird Science (1985)--nerds create woman.
Frankenstein's Great-Aunt Tillie (1985)--inheritance comedy.
Gothic (1987)--account of the 1816 stay of the Shelleys with Byron.
Dr. Hackenstein (1988)--comedy resurrection of late wife.
Frankenstein General Hospital (1988)--med. student "hi-jinks."
Frankenstein Unbound (1990)--Roger Corman's return to directing.
Frankenhooker (1990)--New Jersey mad doctor.
Edison's Frankenstein (1990)--Researched remake of the 1910 one.
Frankenstein: The College Years (1991)--Augh.
Frankenstein (1993)--Randy Quaid.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)--Kenneth Branaugh, Robert De Niro.
Frankenstein and Me (1995)--carnival sideshow exhibit.
Mr. Stitch (1996)--A humanoid military weapon made from 88 corpses.
Lust for Frankenstein (1998)--Dr.'s ghost tells daughter to resurrect project: lesbian monster.
Frankenstein Reborn! (1998)--13-year-old Anna Frankenstein is curious about her uncle's experiments.
Rock & Roll Frankenstein (1999)--Music agent has nephew piece together rock star from pieces of greats.
Mistress Frankenstein (2000)--Lesbian nympho's brain in the dead Mrs. Helena Frankenstein.
Frankenthumb (2002)--Spoof of the Frankenstein films done "digitally."
Frankenstein Reborn (2005)

Frankenstein Frontpage
Monsters Frontpage
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