Paper Example on Romanticism: Literary Works and Key Concepts Analysis

Published: 2023-09-16
Paper Example on Romanticism: Literary Works and Key Concepts Analysis
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Romantic literature
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1092 words
10 min read


According to Branagh-Miscampbell (2016), the period of romanticism begun in England in 1780 and lasted until 1850. The period witnessed the emergence of phenomenal literature works and authors, including “The Tell-tale Heart” and “Godfather Death.” The former was initially published in 1843 and written by Edgar Allan Poe, while the latter was written by the Grimm brothers and published in 1812. Therefore, the analysis conducted in this paper will focus on the key concepts, values, and writing styles of the romantic literary period, as portrayed by the two authors in their literary works.

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The romantic period was a dominant movement in art and literature that changed the artistic practices and styles. The literary works in the romantic period were characterized by the use of symbolism as one of the primary forms of writing. Also, artists transformed from creating contents of scientific truth, and instead focused on art based on emotions. Also, the era was marked by rejection of traditional authorities and artists began creating narratives addressing feminism, and concepts of domestic space (Branagh-Miscampbell p.680). Also, the poetry of this era emphasized on celebrating the beauty of nature rather than neglecting them. To achieve this, the artists continuously protested the increasing industrialization, which was a threat to the environment through pollution from factories. Besides, the majority of poets and other artists of this period were firm believers in the existence of a divine Creator. They believed that the Divine Creator is responsible for the presence of nature, and therefore, it should be treated and protected with divinity. Also, the community in the era of romanticism identified the artists as visionary individuals and viewed them as prophets due to the religious standpoints and moral advocacy.


Symbolism was a typical style used by authors in the romantic period to express their views and opinions. For instance, in the short story “The Tell-tale Heart,” Poe used the heartbeat to symbolize the narrator’s guilt and his insanity (Amir p.20). After killing the older man, the narrator continuously hears his heart beating but thinks that it is from the dead older man. His fear and guilt eventually lead him to confess his sins. Since the heartbeat is only in his imagination, the author uses it to indicate the narrator’s insanity. Elsewhere, the Grimm brothers also used symbolism in their work, "Godfather Death," to show that death is fair, and no one can escape it. The authors illustrated this when the poor father picked death as the godfather to his 13year-old son, instead of God. He decides on the basis that God is unfair since He “give to the rich and let the poor starve” (Grimm and Grimm p.12).

Addressing the Evils of Society

Also, the romantic period focused on addressing the evils of society and advocated for morally accepted practices. This literary trend can be seen in the short story of “Godfather Death,” where the authors address the issue of disobedience, fair treatment, and the potential consequences. The Grimm brothers illustrate this concept through Death and His Godson. First, the poor man with 13 children decides to pick death as the godfather of his son because He observes equality. He promises the poor man that He will make his son rich and famous (Grimm and Grimm p.13). Surprisingly, death fulfills his promises and makes the child a renowned doctor. However, the authors portray the theme of disobedience when the doctor decides to save the King’s daughter despite being warned by death. Death decides to put away the doctor’s light as a way to discourage disobedience. Despite loving the doctor, Death views disobedience and unfair practices to be unacceptable and therefore decides to kill him.

Like Godfather Death, the author of The Tell-tale Heart also uses the platform to discourage evil practices of the community. In the story, the narrator conducts a successful murder that goes unnoticed by the entire society. However, the madman becomes nervous about his actions and feels the guilt for killing the older man without a real reason (Salas p.244). The fear causes him to imagine that he can hear the deceased’s heart beating so loud that the officers could hear too. Eventually, he claims that the disease (haunting) has opened his senses to do the right thing, which is to confess for his actions (Poe p.37). The author closes the story following the accomplishment of moral justice.

Artists in the romantic period protested oppressive and violent political regimes during the 19th century. They advocated for freedom and independence, which challenged how people view political matters at the time (Forwards n.p). They inspired people to question political systems rather than blindly accepting their actions and participate in broken regimes. For instance, despite being inspired by the French Revolution, poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge criticized the revolution for turning against peace and engaging in wars (Zaiter p.19665). Later, the efforts resulted in the emergence of the new democracy today. Elsewhere, Byron, and Italian poet, opposed the Italian nationalism and used literature to advocate for the liberation of the Greeks. Allan Poe uses similar techniques in his story to raise awareness about the justice system. Instead of arresting the narrator immediately for his confession for murder, the incompetent officers shift their focus on the aspect of insanity.


In conclusion, during the romantic period, artists advocated for freedom of expression and use of symbolism to share their opinions. The literary works of these artists embraced the preservation of nature and addressing the evil practices in the community. The selected works of literature for this analysis were Godfather Death and The Tell-tale Heart. Both works applied symbolism, with Poe using the heartbeat to symbolize guilt of the narrator, while the Grimm brothers used death to indicate equality. Based on the analysis, I conclude that the two works of literature represented their literary period adequately.

Works Cited

Amir, Shamaila. Stylistic analysis of the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Angloamericanae Journal, 2018, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 18-28.

Branagh-Miscampbell, Maxime., O’Brien, Eliza., Ward, Mathew., Whickman, Paul., and

Dennis, Chrisy. Literature 1780-1830: The romantic period. Oxford University Press, 2016, vol.95, pp. 679-745.

Forwards, Stephanie. Legacy of the romantics. Open Learn, 2005.

Grimm, Jakob, and Grimm, Wilhelm. Godfather Death. 1812

Poe, Edgar. The Tell-Tale Heart. 1843

Salas, Claudio. The case for excluding the criminal confessions of the mentally III. Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, 2004, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 243-276.

Zaiter, Walid. The French Revolution and the romantics: Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge.

International Journal of Current Advanced Research, 2019, vol. 8, no. 08, pp19661-19666.

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