Characteristics of the Romantic Period in William Wordsworth’s ...

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Characteristics of the Romantic Period in William Wordsworth’s Poem “Tintern Abbey.”

By | April 2012
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Characteristics of the Romantic Period in William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey.”
Tintern Abbey is a poem written by William Wordsworth, a British romantic poet born in 1770 and died in 1850. The full title of this poem is “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798.” (p. 190) The poem evokes nature, memory and basically all the characteristics of the romantic period. Throughout Wordsworth’s work nature ultimately provides good influence on the human mind. All manifestations of the natural world elicit noble, elevated thoughts and passionate emotions that are seen in the people who observe them. Wordsworth repeatedly emphasizes the importance of nature to an individual’s intellectual and spiritual development. A good relationship with nature helps individuals connect to both the spiritual and the social worlds. Thus in Tintern Abbey, the subject of this essay, one finds the characteristics described above. The poem opens with the statement that five years have passed since Wordsworth last visited this location, the Banks of the Wye, encountered its tranquil, rustic scenery, and heard the murmuring waters of the river. Wordsworth recites the objects he sees again, and describes their effect upon him: the “steep and lofty cliffs” impress upon him “thoughts of more deep seclusion”; he leans against the dark sycamore tree and looks at the cottage-grounds and the orchard trees, whose fruit is still unripe.(p.190, lines 5,6,7)) He sees the “wreaths of smoke” rising up from cottage chimneys between the trees, and imagines that they might rise from “vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,” or from the cave of a hermit in the deep forest. Wordsworth then describes how his memory of these “beauteous forms” has worked upon him in his absence from them: when he was alone, or in crowded towns and cities, they provided him with “sensations sweet, / Felt in the...

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