Term Paper: Visual Imagery and Qualitative Dimensions

Pages: 5 (1440 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Only to be revived during the great Renaissance. It was not only the rebirth of art and literature but that of Man himself... It was a new world for him altogether and with this came a new philosophy altogether known as Humanism.

This moment in history has so well been depicted by writers of the time, such as Dante, Luther, and yes to some extent Will Shakespeare. These men showed life as it were at that time, Man's fight between the good and the evil, the vile and the corrupt.

It was masterpieces like the Hunchback of Notredame, which though looks like a romantic novel, aptly depicts conflicting and hypocritical attitude of the Church and how men strived to end its monopoly.

Monopoly of Church and Martin Luther

It was via the works of Martin Luther that showed common man how the Church was manipulating his ignorance to achieve its ends and how they should strive against it.

Then came the Romantics, and they strove to reflect the beauty in life. One can safely interpret that the Romantics showed how man's struggle bore fruit in the shape of "a thing of beauty" being a joy forever.

The Victorians depicted the hypocrisy of the time. It was literati like Oscar Wilde who brilliantly portrayed the times and lives of men during that hypocritical age. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fine example of how man struggle to achieve superficial finesse in life.

As writer Tapan Das Gupta so aptly puts it: "Art is a specific form of social consciousness and human activity. This reflects reality in artistic images. Moreover, art is one of the most important means of esthetical comprehension and portrayal of objective reality. Artistic image is a form of reproduction of objective reality in art emanating from a certain aesthetic ideal life. Man's aesthetic relation to reality is the specific subject matter of art and its task is the artistic portrayal of the reality."

Thus life, art's specific subject, is processed and assimilated in all its diversity and splendor, its harmony and dramatic interactions rendered in an artistic image by the creative imagination, talent, mastery and skill of the artist. The artistic image is an unbreakable unity of intertwined opposites --subjective and objective, the logical and emotional, the abstract and concrete, the general and particular, the necessary and accidental, the inherent and outer, the whole and part, the essence and appearance, the content and form." (2)

Contemporary Literature

Contemporary literature is as diverse as it is unique. It is the time, which has produced masterpieces on subjects like the struggles of Black and women and how they endured the wretchedness of time, the fight against capitalistic society and free market economy.

We can take examples from the works of DH Lawrance and novels like Sons and Lovers. Although it is a story of relationships between the mother and the son etc. But depicts the life of a hardworking man, struggling to survive, as Shakespeare puts it in his hero's mouth (Hamlet): "Whips and scorns of time, / the oppressors wrong, / the proud man's contumely, the pangs of disprized love, the laws delayed..."


Whenever we talk about any piece of art or literature for that matter even about a not so good movie or television show, what we say depends in large measures on certain conscious or unconscious assumptions we make. In short, whether we realise it or not we judge the work from a particular viewpoint, its realism, its mortality or whatever.

Professional critics too work from assumptions but their assumptions are usually highly conscious. In addition to this, a piece of art is interpreted through a lens of a particular theory and this focus enables one to see things that otherwise might go unnoticed. It should be added however that if a lens or critical perspective or interpretive strategy helps us to see certain thing, and also limits our vision.

However, the important thing to learn from all this in one way or the other a lot can be learned from what history or art and yes literature teaches us.

Works Cited

1) A short history of English literature: Pages124 & 125. Sylvan Barnet

2) History of English literature: Pages123 & 127. Legouis & Cazamain

3) An Introduction to Fiction, Drama and Poetry:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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