Free «Baudelaire and Mallarme» Essay Sample

Baudelaire and Mallarme

Symbolism was a compound and influential movement, which flourished during the last two decades of the 19th century. The thematic, stylistic and philosophic doctrines of the poetic movement were created in the poems of Baudelaire and Mallarmé. The poets utilized symbolism to signify human emotions to make the works vague, thus, avoiding direct communication with the readers. The poets rejected conservative religious, social, and ethical values, accepting instead a world-negating escapism, exoticism and the aggressive individualism. They reacted against the customary approached, inflexible forms and descriptive tendencies of poetic descents. The symbolist poets were concerned with the expression of private experience, and their method usually resulted in poems, which were intentionally ambiguous and extremely personal.

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Baudelaire's images transcend the delineated linear coherent reality. His individual usage and twist of metaphors disturbs the rational interpretative process of the booklover, which anticipates 20th century Western art and literature. And Mallarme, unlike earlier poets and painters, succeeds in breaking out of tradition. The poet relies on the general essence of language that strips referential connotations to leave the booklover with nothing but its enigmatic essence (Abbott 143-149).

It’s necessary to realize how the Middle Ages treated nature and the Globe. The Globe was a book written by the hand of God in which each being is a word charged with the deep meaning. So, attributing symbolic significance to musical instruments in the Middle Ages was not unusual. However, it was unusual to treat musical instruments as a symbol. In this meaning only the harp was unique among the medieval musical instruments. In view of the religious context in which the musical instrument was depicted in the Middle Ages, it’s easy to imagine that this meaning was influenced by the Biblical exegesis of the Church Fathers.

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Christian Art that evolved during the Middle Ages is filled with symbolism. From colors and numbers to animals and plants, almost each aspect of Medieval Christian art is symbolic. These are several examples of symbols and their meanings: white – the symbol of purity and innocence; blue - the symbol of heaven, may also be utilized to symbolize truth; ivy - the symbol of faithfulness and eternal life. The Church was the influential institution of the Medieval and made thousands of Biblically themed works such as paintings, sculptures. Art of the Medieval period is extremely intriguing, overflowing with symbolism. Narrative paintings, with their layer upon layer of symbolism, were utilized by the clergy as religious guidebooks. The greatest painter of the Medieval period was Giotto. Medieval painters had a taste for the deep, their usage of symbols is a mysterious glance into the shadowy religious Globe that lay behind the reality of the times.

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