What aspects of Romanticism are explored in "The Birthmark"?

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I think it’s interesting to discuss your question in light of two important aspects of romanticism: the Gothic and romantic feminism. Let's examine them one by one.

The Gothic in literature and art is generally considered an offshoot of the romantic movement. Gothic art, poems, and stories deal with themes like the supernatural, suspense, horror, and mystery. Although some critics consider the Gothic a more sensational and lurid form of romanticism, I think the Gothic actually highlights the darker side of romantic principles. We can see this at work in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark " (1843). One of the key principles of romanticism is "idealism." However, when taken to an extreme, idealism can become unhinged narcissism, as we see in the case of the genius scientist Aylmer. Striving for the ideal of perfection, Aylmer is ready to sacrifice human life itself. Ironically, in his love for nature, Aylmer sets out to perfect and thus destroy it. Thus, the Gothic acts as a warning for...

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