Modernism was a movement that occurred in the late nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth century. It contrasted with the movement of neoclassicism from the eighteenth century. The latter strongly emphasized order, reason, the following of convention and optimism about human nature. Modernism did the opposite.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) wrote several works in which he expressed very modernistic ideas: chaos, disorder, the passions, irrationality and aggressiveness.
Another theme found in modernism, particularly in Friedrich Nietzsche’s works, was a dismissal of the Christian code of morality. Nietzsche believed that people should make their own morality code to follow.
The modernistic disorder can also be found in science. Isaac Newton in the eighteenth century had said that the universe followed orderly laws. In 1913, Niels Bohr found that the electrons did not abide by Newton’s laws of motion. Therefore, he and many other scientists of that era concluded that the universe was not orderly. Continue reading
Romanticism was a cultural movement in the 19th century, which changed art, music and literature. It came after neo-classicism, which had sought to organize and rationalize the over extravagant baroque era.
There are several themes in romanticism. There was an intense interest in the distant past, particularly the Middle Ages. Also, nationalism and a more patriotic outlook on life, along with a break with artistic convention, brought forth more individual expression.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
There are many beautiful works of music from the Romantic era. Innovation played a strong part in making the music so unique. For example, composing five movements for a symphony rather than four, and composing choral symphonies. Individualism was also central. Ludwig van Beethoven brought forth program music. Verdi, Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and Schumann were a few romantic composers. Continue reading
Confessions is an autobiographical work written by St. Augustine of Hippo in Latin, between A.D. 397 and 398. It is not a complete autobiography but is considered the first western autobiography ever written. It consists of thirteen sections, or books, telling of Augustine’s boyhood until the age of forty. Continue reading
The final, breathtaking play in the tragic Oresteia is The Eumenides. It deals with the critical question as to whether or not the condemned prince Orestes is guilty of murder. Continue reading
Theogony is an 8th century poem written by the Greek poet Hesiod that describes the origin of the gods of Mt. Olympus. In the poem, three generations of gods are described. Continue reading