Romanticism – week 11

  1. Is Tartuffe in fact anti-religious, or does it only attack corruptions of religion?

Tartuffe is definitely not anti-religious, except for in the way that it’s making fun of religion and the hypocrisy that comes with ignorant people that disregard everything but religion. So in that way, it attacks the corruption. Simply by making Tartuffe the antagonist and making him despicable for taking advantage of Orgon’s hospitality, it is putting his hypocrisy and manipulative nature to light, and pretending he is into the spiritual nature to woo his host’s wife, this very satirical of all the negative aspects of religion. It is not exactly putting religion in a bad light or mocking all religious people, but rather, like many intelligent writers in the past, Moliere was writing about the political situation at the time, in particular the Catholic movement and appearance versus reality.

  1. In what respects is Hugo’s Satan a heroic figure? How does Hugo’s account differ from Dante’s?

Hugo’s Satan is not the fire and brimstone Satan like Dante’s, of consequence and fear and ultimate punishment, but rather it is like the precursor. Hugo made his poem in a futile yet hopeful tone, a situation everyone can relate to, the possibility of success and the attainment of good, but also the implicated idea of failure and temptation and evil. It is the age-old idea of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, and the conflicting flanks and arguments. Instead of Dante’s evil description of Satan, Hugo’s is more a character with free will who in a way chose his path, much like how we all choose our path and so he is relatable and is very nearly a hero, just a different kind of hero.

  1. Discuss and compare the images in any two poems assigned for this week.

I want to compare “A Pine is Standing Lonely,’ by Heine, because it strikes true with seasonal affective disorder in Fairbanks, and compare and contrast it with “Sylvia’ by Leopardi. To me, these two poems invoked the most amount of emotion, because it is such extreme loss. For example, during the winter, people want to be in other places, they dream of the sun and palm trees and a different life. It is an intense sadness, because our bodies are not supposed to go through that, uninhabitable temperatures and only an hour or two of weak rays, and the loss of a woman, or a friend, is another extreme emotion. Unlike the lonely pine, Sylvia starts out so lovely, with imagery such as “climbing towards the summit of our youth,’ “blue skies,’ “gardens gold in the sun,’ “brimming hearts,’ “how large a thing seems life.’ But it switches quickly, into the same emotion of the lonely pine, by mourning the lost soul, and suddenly it is hopeless, without her, he is not whole. Without the sun, the pine is lonely, and without Sylvia, Leopardi cannot enjoy his life.

5 thoughts on “Romanticism – week 11

  1. Michaela

    I liked your response to Dante’s Satan vs. Hugo’s Satan. I agree that Hugos satan is not the same fire and brimstone devil as Dantes. I very much liked how you used the example of the good angel on one shoulder and the bad angel on the other.. that is something I am sure we have all experienced at one time or another.

  2. sharissewatkins

    I think your reply this week was very, very thought provoking. I actually think that a lot of the posts have more to them this week , I guess mostly because we have a little bit more of a free reign. I especially like your comparisons for the poem. I agree both of them are really sad but I love the way you relate “A Pine is Standing Lovely” to the life of people in Alaska. Because truly, when that sun is gone and the vitamin D is not metabolizing we lose our “happy”. And a lot of things can happen to the human body when that happens. But not only that all the life goes away (except moose) 🙂 and sleeps for the winter, the berries, the squirrels, the rabbits and most birds…all except the evergreen. How nice!

  3. kjs93

    I enjoyed your description of the portrayal of Satan. I hadn’t thought of how he is described as fearful. That is interesting because often people fear him. Its also interesting that he has hope in this poem.

  4. swhoke

    I also found your comparison of the two depictions of Satan very agreeable. I also felt that Satan was shown in a light that made him have almost human qualities. I felt that he showed remorse for his fall and anger not just at God but himself, and thus projected it at God and his environment. Great post.

    1. sehoyos

      Very true, Hugo infused his poem with a hopeful tone. Even knowing the unlikelihood of it, I was kind of rooting for him to succeed, if only for there to be an unexpected end with a prodigal son.

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