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By Andrew M. Stauffer

Andrew M. Stauffer explores the altering position of anger within the literature and tradition of the Romantic interval, fairly within the poetry and prose of Blake, Coleridge, Godwin, Shelley, and Byron. This cutting edge e-book has a lot to give a contribution to the certainty of Romantic literature and the cultural heritage of emotions.

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Extra resources for Anger, revolution, and romanticism

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10 The angry man curiously approaches dance and song as he “groans and bellows, bursts out into speech . . strikes his hands together. . and stamps the ground,” literally making a spectacle of himself. For Seneca, anger is theater: its manifestations are energetic and dramatic, and we experience another person’s anger as spectators. Anger becomes a violent, compelling performance, a ritual of self-expression that for Seneca is like the raving of a madman. ’ Not so, but when he pretends to be angry.

All whom frenzy of the soul exalts to powers that are more than human believe that they breathe forth something lofty and sublime; but it rests on nothing solid, and whatever rises without a firm foundation is liable to fall. Anger has nothing on which to stand. 1–2) The recurrent theme of Seneca’s protest is the loss of control attendant upon episodes of anger. Unable to determine where anger will carry him or when the bottom will drop out, he rejects it, fixedly concerned with preserving his command over himself.

However, insofar as the origins of the sublime moved from the writer affecting to the writer being affected – the writer as transcriptive “reader” – poets began to seek out experiences of sublimity, which they could then translate into art. Fear, awe, confusion – the emotions of the sublime experience – therefore became the dominant emotional tones of poetry. The abandonment of Longinian hypsos for Burkean sublimity can be seen in a generation of poets less interested in wielding Juvenalian vituperation 30 Anger, Revolution, and Romanticism than in recording moments of anxious grandeur.

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