Poe's Sonnet to Science Essay

2001 WordsApr 30, 20139 Pages
Science, from the Latin word “scientia” meaning "knowledge," is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Science discovers and determines natural laws, enforcing reality and its truths, thus taking away a poets ability to easily write about fantasy in the sense of nymphs and elves. Therefore the old myths about nymphs and a wild mythical creatures in nature have lost their power and ability to sway the minds of the reader as much. This poem is about what appears to be a gap between poetry and science, and the poet trying to figure out what it is about this that is making him uncomfortable Poe’s "Sonnet - To Science" is a poet's expression of grief over the dangers he perceives from scientific development and its negative implications for poetry and creativity and mankind’s imagination. Poe lived and wrote in the early nineteenth century (1800’s) as the European Industrial Revolution was crossing the Atlantic and transforming the technological landscape of the eastern United States, and his poem reflects an artistic backlash to the potential problems of the emerging America. Poe's concerns have been relevant at every stage of scientific progress, from the Renaissance to the current day, as each series of technological changes awakens the eternal fear that man will destroy his own humanity during his excited search for better machinery. In particular, "Sonnet - To Science" hints at the tension between the forward-looking advances of the Industrial Revolution and the nature-oriented tendencies of the Romantic era. Romanticism had appeared as a counterargument to the Enlightenment philosophy of embracing and celebrating progress. Members of this movement sought to return to a purer, more innocent state of nature because they felt that society had corrupted man's innate goodness.

More about Poe's Sonnet to Science Essay

Open Document