Victor Hugo the Romanticist Essay

Et nox facta est, written by Victor Hugo (1802-1885) in the mid nineteenth century, is the first part of an epic poem called The End of Satan. What is being illustrated in Hugo’s piece of writing is Satan’s fall from heaven which demonstrates the morals and historical values of religion; specifically Christianity. Hugo wanted to present “both psychological acuity and powerful identification with the figure of a rebel” (Hugo 780), the rebel being the Devil himself. The importance of this piece is derived from Hugo’s writing style and diction, the depiction of a major part of Christian history, and the arguments that challenge religious beliefs. Hugo wrote in many different genres and this influenced the Romanticism era that he was a part of.

Hugo’s Et nox facta est “depicts the fallen angel’s defiant plunge from heaven” (Hugo 780), in an illustrated and imaginative manner. The English name for this poem is, And there was night, which “contrasts with the biblical ‘And there was light (Genesis 1:3)’” (Hugo 781). Hugo begins the poem by Lucifer being thrown down from Heaven in which he proceeds to fall in the “abyss some four thousand years” (Line 1). The poem’s tone symbolizes fear, terror, and anxiety due to the obstacles the Devil goes through and the amount of time that these chains of events happen in. The scenery throughout the poem is dark and relates to Satan’s attitude toward God for damning him to hell. Much of the poem exemplifies death, such as the “lightning from far a thousand deathly forms” (Line 194), and when Satan crosses “the first lakes of dead immensity” (Line 103). This poem focuses on death to exaggerate the pain of Lucifer and the punishment that he has to go through for his devilish actions. Hugo’s word choic…

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…f the educational system ignored Hugo’s pieces, the world would be lacking on some of the most basic philosophical ideas and there is always something new to learn from each of his pieces. As much as he did during his lifetime, “it would be futile to try and sum up Hugo’s poetry “(Gervais 117).

Works Cited

Gervais, David. “ Hugo and Victor Hugo.” Cambridge Quarterly 28.2 (1999): 116-49. Literary Reference Center Plus EBSCO. Web.Hugo, Victor. “Et nox facta est” The Norton Anthology: Western Literature. 2.8. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Peter Simon. New York City: Norton. 2006. 347-68. Print.

Larson, Victoria. “‘Scribbling’ to Victor Hugo: The Letters of Juliette Drouet.” Romance Studies 27.2 (2009): 106-20. Academic Search Complete EBSCO. Web.Riffaterre, Michael. “Victor Hugo’s Poetics.” The Romantic Review 93(2003): 151-60. Academic Search Complete EBSCO. Web.


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