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The perspective in human affairs provided by the focus on ruins in work of the period of romantic writings - Essay Example

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The Perspective in Human Affairs in Romantic Writings Name: Institution: It is a fundamental fact that human affairs are at the core of the society. The supremacy of man as the driving force of the developments in the universe cannot be overstated. Since ancient times, humans have played a critical role in redefining life in the universe…
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Download file to see previous pages Suffice to say, all beings are mortal. Imperatively, even the people who have risen to the epitomes of power eventually have to face death and destruction. In this sense, it beats all logic in understanding why things that have been built with so much effort have to eventually fall. The inevitability of doom is part and parcel of the life all mortals. Incidentally, history is full of examples of great empires painfully built over long periods which finally collapsed. For instance, the Roman Empire was vast and powerful during its peak years. It would have been safe to imagine that it could last forever and dominate the world. However, the present reality is that the Roman Empire is basically history. Several literally works during the Romantic Period attempted to depict the vanity of human affairs and the mortal nature of all life. the Romantic works were basically a revolt against the social and political norms of the day in an attempt to enlighten the society on the vanity of life. In most Romantic writings, the authors critically reflected on the inevitable fate of all human beings to perish. In essence, the ruins of various societies offered examples of how great empires had collapsed. For instance, Volney in his work The Ruins indicates that all human affairs are bound to perish at a certain point in time. The hopeless situation of all human endeavors is highlighted by Volney in the statement that: I saw daily on my road fields abandoned, villages deserted, and cities in ruin. Often I met with ancient monuments, wrecks of temples, palaces and fortresses, columns, aqueducts and tombs. This spectacle led me to meditate on times past, and filled my mind with contemplations the most serious and profound. (Ch. 1). This is in reference to the collapsed the Turkish Empire. Volney notes that the Empire once flourished as the epitome of power and people lived in opulence. Yet, the palaces and the monuments of the city became desolate after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The once busy streets that were crowded by happy people now lay in utter solitary. Volney indicates that the walls of the empire were once home to great arts and festivities that celebrated the joys of human affairs (Ch. 2). Yet, the silence of death now reigned in the ruins of the walls of the empire and they stood in stark contrast of their glorious past. Volney points out that ruins of the empires remained as skeletons of the powerful cities. The uncertainty of life is one of the realities that all mortals have to live with. In the ancient times, the natives of the powerful empires lived happily oblivious of the fact that their cities would eventually perish. The desolate lands that remained after the collapse of empires indicate that all human affairs are in vain. Volney points out that he sought the works of the ancient inhabitants of the land and he found none. In retrospect, he wonders “Where those husbandmen, harvests, flocks, and all the creation of living beings in which the face of the earth rejoiced?” (Ch. 2). All the labors and efforts of the ancient inhabitants could not be found in the ruins that Volney visited. All the fleets that the adorned the ports, the great temples that people worshipped in, the flocks and harvest that were not there anymore. It therefore implies that the fortunes of countries changed in such a momentous way that the previous riches and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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