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Robert Frost and Romanticism - Research Paper Example

This paper dwells upon romanticism and realism and its representation in Frost's works. Both styles also stress the importance of individualism: the Romantics from a spiritual perspective and the Realists from a physical standpoint. One way to contrast the two styles is to think of Romanticism as a subjective account of the world and Realism as an objective rendering of the same world. When thought of in those terms, the two seem contradictory, and nearly impossible to reconcile in one poet. Yet an argument can be made that one poet, Robert Frost, managed to combine elements of both romanticism and realism in his work. Frost’s poetry hearkens backward to the Romanticism of an earlier era by referring to the natural world. Many Frost poems take place in nature, talk about nature or natural elements, and always the speakers of the poem demonstrate an awe and reverence for the natural world. ...
“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” “”The Road Not Taken,” as well as “After Apple Picking” (and others) bring to mind a spirit of individuality and independence characteristic of Romantics, but they also have as their subject matter the more tangible, sometimes harsher, realities of life like duty, toil, and regret. Frost’s poetry captures the complex way humans both physically sense and emotionally feel about life’s moments. Yet, many characteristics of romantic poetry such as idealism and emotional passion do not really describe Frost’s poetry. “If romanticism is defined as a simple-minded picture of human experience that no sane and sober adult would take seriously, then Frost was not a romantic. And if Frost's poetry shows him to be a tough-minded realist who believed that no affirmation can be more than ‘a momentary stay,’ then, once again, Frost was not a romantic” (Liebman). Yet Frost does relate human experience, in some poems, both realistically and romantically. While Romantics challenge order and rationality, characteristics that Frost’s poetry often demonstrates, they also enjoy a sense of freedom in doing as they please. Frost frequently portrays the solitary naturalist or the farmer working his own crop, and, Frost’s poetic characters are, as Liebman points out, “tough-minded realist[s]” too. Realist poetry likes the structure imposed by reality. Accuracy and objectivity are important, and Frost demonstrates both in his descriptions of the natural world that his poems inhabit. But, they are often monologues, full of commentary, which realism does not include because realism prefers a recounting of facts without subjective commentary. Yet, realism still exists in the ...Show more


This paper compares two movements such as romanticism and realism. Romanticism and realism seem like to very different poetic styles, but they actually have some characteristics in common. Both emphasize the natural world, but they do it in very different ways…
Author : wbradtke
Robert Frost and Romanticism essay example
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