Wordsworth Language vs. Experience

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Veronika Abkarian
DWC 201 003
20 November 2012

William Wordsworth’s Language vs. Experience

William Wordsworth, a major English Romantic poem, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. This time period consisted of literature that had strong influences on romantic writers. The writers’ attitudes were different to the ordinary previous writers. Seventh and Eighteenth century writings were too difficult for the common person to understand. They were uncommon and had awkward and ornate structures. The following quote, “I have endeavored utterly to reject them [the formalized expressions of 17th and 18th century poetry] as a mechanical device of style” suggests Wordsworth’s view of the relationship between the language of his writing and the subjects, which are expressed throughout his works. He believes that language structure should not have set number of lines, rhyme schemes, or certain patterns of rhythm. Wordsworth wants to write about incidents and situations that occur in everyday life and describe them in language used by the average person, or a plain and empathic language. In Wordsworth’s belief, literature would no longer be mimetic and reflective but expressive. The readers of his works should use “gaudiness and inane phraseology”. He believes in making an emphasis of nature, not only physically but also human nature. He looks toward talking about humble and rustic life instead of focusing on royalty or the selfishness of having wealth. He believes that a language arising out of repeated experience and regular feelings is more permanent and more philosophical than that of the poets whom use fancy language to show off their writing style. The principles of Wordsworth pertain to his goal of helping readers understand complex emotional times when they have occurred. The common people are closer to finding the truth, a language closer to real true emotion and experience. Wordsworth feels as though he must address the sensations that...
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