Heroes in the Romantic Period

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Romanticism is a type of art and literature from the late 18th century that features nature, myth, emotion, symbols, and individualism. Grimm’s Fairytales are a good example of Romanticism in literature. These stories, including “Little Red Cap”, “Rumpelstiltskin”, and have as main characters common people who must make choices between good and evil. The stories include a lot of nature and symbolism, and they also have a lot of things that would not happen in real life or nature such as talking animals and magic. In this paper, I am going to give examples of Romanticism in these three stories.

“Little Red Cap” is the story about a wolf who eats an old woman, and then tries to trick the granddaughter, Little Red Cap, into coming close so he can eat her as well. He does this by dressing up as the grandmother and pretending to be her. Even though both the girl and the old woman are eaten by the wolf, a hunter comes by and saves them by killing the wolf and cutting him open, so the girl and her grandmother can get out. In this story, a little girl is the main character, and a common hunter is the hero. They are individuals who make decisions with big consequences. The grandmother lives in the forest, and Little Red Cap is always being distracted by nature, frequently picking flowers on her walk to her grandmother’s house. Nature is one of the key parts of any romanticized story. Nature also doesn’t have to just be about plants. Animals are also an essential part of nature, and the wolf lives there too. A talking wolf isn’t anything that exists, so that part of the story shows the myth element of romanticism. There are other Grimm fairytales that show these things about Romanticism as well.

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In “Rumpelstiltskin” a miller tells the king his daughter can spin gold from straw even though she cannot. A little man performs the magic for her but asks her for a reward each time. The third time she has no more jewelry to give him, so he makes her promise to give her first child to him. The girl marries the king, but when her child is born, and the man comes to claim it, she won’t give it up. The little man says he will leave her alone if she can guess his name. She has him followed, and the messenger overhears his name and tells the queen. She tells the little man the right name and he is so angry he gets torn in half. In the Story of “Rumpelstiltskin” we see the theme of rags to riches as the miller’s daughter becomes the queen of the country which is an example of individual choices and the improvement of the self. Spinning straw into gold is an example of magic, but it also uses something in nature to do it with.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales are a good example of Romanticism because they include all the key themes that stories in Romanticism have including common people improving their situation by choosing good over evil, nature, magic, and myth. Romanticism is still popular today in stories like Harry Potter. People today still like fantasy stories in which ordinary people can triumph over evil. 

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Heroes in the Romantic Period. (2022, Apr 12). Retrieved from


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