Will We See Another Romantic Era?

Will We See Another Romantic Era?

Perhaps it's time for Romanticism to make a return.

I've always viewed the Enlightenment as one of Western civilization's greatest achievements. It marked a major change in our perception of the world, redirecting us from faith and feeling towards logic and reasoning. The thinkers that dominated the era—individuals like Locke, Kant, and Bacon—helped pave the way for a rational world in which modern science, technology, medicine, and industry would take hold.

From a political perspective, the Enlightenment put democracy back into practice and absolute monarchies out of fashion. It also had a profound impact on human rights. For the longest time, I viewed it as a spectacular turning point in human history—one that was undeniably beneficial. Of course I was foolish to think anything in history could be so black and white.

As a sophomore-year English major, I've only recently begun to dip my toes into the literary and cultural movement that served as a backlash and counterpoint against the Enlightenment: Romanticism.

Beginning at around the time of the French Revolution in the 1790s and lasting up until the mid 19th century, Romantic writers sought to idolize nature and beauty, emphasizing passion and feeling. They fought against a world that was leading them closer towards cold, unfeeling reason.

Consequently, lyric poetry became the dominant poetic form during the period. In a lyric poem, the speaker will typically, in the first person, try to describe or express emotions surrounding a particular moment.

Romantic artists valued intuition, imagination, and feeling over the rigid and logical structure attached to scientific and mathematical thought. These values are evident in Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Purloined Letter," when a detective, tasked with retrieving an incriminating letter, fails to find it through his formulaic and carefully measured search method. It is only through another character's ability to empathize with the criminal that the location of the letter finally becomes apparent.

In their quest to uncover truth, the Romantics did not bother with revealing the hidden equations and numbers that govern the world. Rather, their focus was on attaining "spiritual truth" and transcendent experiences.

Eventually, like most movements, Romanticism faded away. In the middle of the 19th century, Realism emerged to replace it, never to be seen at such a scale again.

But that was almost 200 years ago. Where is Romanticism now? If I were to summarize how a Romantic artist would view our world today, I would simply reuse the words of Romantic Era poet William Wordsworth in his poem "The World Is Too Much With Us" (1807):

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn."

In a traditional 14-line Petrarchan sonnet, Wordsworth expresses frustration at society and how, through its growing materialism, rationality, and industry, our ability to feel and appreciate nature has faded.

In the poem's sestet, the speaker frustratingly concludes that he would rather be a "Pagan," ignorant of reason and technology, than lose his ability to see wonder and beauty in the natural world. In other words, the speaker of the poem would rather revert back to having childlike mystery and grandeur placed into the world more than all of the advancements in industry and in thinking that we have made.

Although this notion is exceedingly radical on its own, if turned down a few notches in extremity, there's a chilling degree of relevance to the modern day.

It’s doubtless that Wordsworth would be horrified by how monstrously out of touch we are with nature now. Not only has new technology separated us even further from it, it’s also potentially destroying it.

I can only imagine the look on Wordsworth's face when he sees a child, holed up in their air-conditioned home on a summer day, playing in a virtual world instead of playing outside. Or what he would think of people walking with their faces in their phones instead of observing the world around them.

It seems the world that Wordsworth describes in his poem is our world—more so than it was his.

Perhaps then, it's time for Romanticism to make a return. If anything it could serve to offset and balance a society that so strictly emphasizes science, technology, and industry.

In the Information Age, our world is seemingly being reduced to ones and zeroes. We're becoming more technologically dependent by the year. The Digital Revolution along with modern materialism/consumerism would be seen as, through the lens of Romanticism, grossly complicating and bloating society and separating us from what is truly important. Furthermore, the Humanities, the subject matter concerned with emotion and the human condition, is losing its relevance in modern education as policymakers are beginning to dismiss it as economically unproductive.

Clearly, popular philosophy is moving further and further away from Romantic ideals, but that's precisely why we might see it pop up again. Maybe, because of these shifting tides, another Romantic movement is inevitable. After all, movements always seem to produce counter-movements. Therefore, it might stand to reason that Romanticism may return once more as backlash, to re-introduce some feeling into a world caught up in reason.

Cover Image Credit: John Trumbull

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18 Times Kate Middleton Was Actually All Of Us In College, Beside The Princess Thing

Every girl has to go through her clueless college stage before she reaches Duchess status.

Kate Middleton is basically a household name by now, and how could this not be the case when she has the gorgeous hair, kind smile, and incredible fashion sense. With her constantly in the spotlight looking so put together, we sometimes forget that the Duchess was actually all of us in college!

Here are 18 times that Kate proved she was just like all of us.

1. Going all out in the name of school spirit

There is nothing like breaking out the war paint and screaming for your home team. Like Kate, we all love to get a little messy and make some memories with our friends.

2. Hanging out with the roomies

Some people may not get lucky in this area but for those who are best friends with their roommates, they understand the love. It's a dream come true for everyone who has always wanted to live with their best friends. It's like a sleepover that never ends.

3. Dressing up cute on the first day of school...

You got to make a good first impression on your way to school. Whether it's during your 7 A.M or 4 P.M., it's always best to dress to impress.

4. ...and wearing yoga pants for the rest of the year

And this goes all the way until the last week of school when you don't bother getting out of bed to wear pants at all.

5. Going grocery shopping and throwing in cookies, ice-cream, and every type of Pringles because your mom isn't there to say no

You'll probably regret that in a few months when the Freshman Fifteen kicks in.

6. Walking for miles from your car to your dorm carrying groceries

We can't park by the apartment for a solid five minutes to carry our groceries up to the kitchen or we will risk a ticket, but we can walk a few miles carrying food that gets heavier, and heavier, and heavier with every step.

7. Going out for a night on the town on a Friday night

Dancing, laughter, and fun? Everyone in college has been to a party or two. It's a classic part of the college experience. Sometimes you just need a distraction from all the essays and tests.

8. Being so late to class you threw on whatever your hands grabbed next

We've all been there. Our alarm doesn't go off, we press snooze a few too many times, or forget to even set an alarm and next thing you know we are running around the dorm room like Taz from Looney Toons. You throw on whatever, then run to class.

Unfortunately 9/10 times our outfits don't turn out. Although, Kate can certainly pull off this look, no matter how mismatched.

9. Pretending your walking to the same building as the cute boy you met so you have the excuse to keep talking to him

I am very guilty of doing this. Although I missed my class, at least I got to talk to the really cute boy who has class at 9:45 in the STEM building. It was worth it.

10. Sitting on the floor or standing because you're a poor college student who can't afford chairs or tables

Eating on the floor? Always. Being a college kid is tough and sometimes you have to sacrifice some things to obtain the others. Such as choosing chocolate milk and Halo Top over vegetables and hair conditioner.

Judging by Kate's beautiful locks, she chose the conditioner.

Probably the vegetables too.

We should just all follow her example.

11. Going on cute date with the boy you followed to class-turned-boyfriend

Now my short-lived romance may not have extended farther than us talking and walking to his class, but Kate and William obviously had a better ending. Nevertheless, college is the place to grow and date and possibly find the one.

12. Keeping your hair long and growing because you can't afford to get it cut

Don't trust your roommate. No matter how many times she begs you to let her cut it. Don't.

13. Turning 21 and getting dressed up and going out with your best friends

While this one probably doesn't apply to Kate, since you can drink at age 18 in most countries, all my people in the United States know the sweet freedom of turning 21. It's an iconic time in a students life and marks a huge milestone as well.

14. Passing out flyers for some type of movement or protest

Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger - which is why college is the time to stand up for what you believe in. May that be RedforEd, Planned Parenthood, anti-Abortion, Trump, the Wall, pizza bagels, it's all an exercise of the first amendment.

15. Ranting to your friends about the professor that just "doesn't understand you"

You know your thinking about that professor right now as you read this. And you know that that's your reaction whenever they give you a bad grade or say something you disagree with at the tiniest degree.

16. Getting glammed-up for those senior photos

Pick out your best outfit and make sure it's a good hair day because everyone will be viewing these photos forever... and in Kate's place that is more than true. Luckily she looks as gorgeous as ever. Does she ever have a bad hair day?

17. Walking out of your last class knowing you'll never have to write a single paper again

And purposefully not thinking about how you will be going into the real world in less than a few days.

18. When you've graduated and realized you have no idea what you're going to do with your life

Maybe a prince will be right around the corner to sweep you off your feet so you won't have to figure your life out.
Cover Image Credit: Laura Warshauer

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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