Abstracts of issue 10-11 (1998)

Ion Zottos

Notions of Romanticism in English Criticism regarding the Epic Poem and the Lyrical Drama during the Nineteenth Century; Overlapping Influences between Literature and Music

  1. John Milton, Paradise Lost.
    1. The internalised Quest Romance, the Creation Myth, and the rhetorical schemes.
    2. Hybris; Lucifers Fall, the battle between Good and Evil, and the final catastrophy in terms of the Divine Comedy.
  2. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry.
    1. Shelleys Romantic Poetics, the harmony of the Music of the Spheres, the epic poem; classical and neoclassical drama.
    2. Common ideas in Shelley and Milton, Shelleys enthusiasm for Paradise Lost, and the Romantic theory whereby Satan is represented as the hero of the Miltonic epic.
  3. Shelley, Prometheus Unbound.
    1. An apparent synthesis of a Gesamtkunstwerk without music, the Prologue to Prometheus Unbound, Satan as the hero, Aeschylus and Plato as archetypal models.
    2. The plot, the dramatis personae, the luck of a realistic background; the role of symbolism in the delineation and analysis of the characters; the work as a closet play.
    3. An attempt at an analysis of the Lyrical Drama in Four Acts and the apocalyptic Millenium, the heroic Romance and the suppression of tyranny; the supremacy of Good over Evil and the comic denouement.
  4. Epilogue. Satyrical / Satiric drama; Musical Romanticism in Shelleys England.
In concluding the present article, the author comes to the deduction that during the Romantic Era the English were not an unmusical people, but that it did not occur to them to create the Gesamtkunstwerk wished for by their contemporary Germans, which was, by the way, the only among the then civilized European nations to desire such union between the arts. Yet, while Britons seemed still to adhere to the Miltonic ideals expounded with regards the Blessed pair of Sirens [] Voice and Verse, they tacitly went on creating their lyrical dramas without the need or help of music.