Literary Analyisis- She Was a Phantom of Delight

Topics: Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Dove Cottage Pages: 5 (1553 words) Published: April 11, 2013
Analyzing One of the Greatest
The Romantic time period began in the 1700s and ended around the mid nineteenth century. This is where William Wordsworth began to shine his talents of astonishing poetry. One poem in particular is written for his wife, Mary, “She Was a Phantom of Delight”. The goal of this paper is to explain how the Romantic Era influenced William Wordsworth in his poem, “She Was a Phantom of Delight”. To begin, “She Was a Phantom of Delight” was written by, William Wordsworth. He was born April 7, 1770, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. Wordsworth early learned to love nature, including the pleasures of walking and outdoor play. He equally enjoyed his formal education, demonstrating a talent for writing poetry. (4: 1705).  He is best known for poet regarded as the central figure in the initiation of English Romanticism. (“William Wordsworth Biography” 1). Also, known as an early leader of romanticism in English poetry and he is ranked as one of the greatest lyric poets in the history of English literature. (Encyclopedia of World Biography. 1). He wrote it in 1803 but, it was published in 1807 which was of the Romantic time period. (Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum. 1). Wordsworth wrote this poem about his wife, Mary. She of who is his childhood sweetheart. (Wolfson, 1: 2481). “She Was a Phantom of Delight” is a continuous, lyrical ballad with perfect rhyme, and iamb rhythm pattern. The point of view is in first person in a calm, amorous, astonished tone. There is no particular setting to the poem but there is one character, Wordsworth’s wife, Mary. A paraphrasing of Wordsworth’s “She Was a Phantom of Delight would read as the following: My First was pure impression amazement. She was sent to be in the limelight. She seemed unreal. She seems ghostly. She is too beautiful to be human. Her hair and eyes both alluring. She has never ending beauty. She moves so graceful and lively but yet seems surreal. As I get to know her more. I realize she’s real. She’d make a good housewife. She has a gentle character. As we get closer I see her virginal qualities. And I realize she is real by the realistic tendencies in her daily routines. She works extremely efficient but has a heart when doing so. She is who she is. She is original. She has a great personality. She’s respectful, strong considerate and independent. And now it is clear I have fallen for her. Wordsworth’s poem is about him describing his changing perspective wife, Mary. The literary devices he uses are metaphors, allusions, and similes to develop the idea. By describing his wife “Phantom of delight / when first she gleam’d upon my sight” (Wordsworth 1-2) to begin with is a metaphor to show how enamored he was with her when they were children. Also, William uses a simile again, for example, "Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair; / Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair."(5-6) describes the unreachable qualities of his wife as they were growing up. Again, he describes her in the following: “A dancing shape, an image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and waylay. (Wordsworth.7-10) Using an allusion, William is describing Mary as he saw her in their youth. Then, to describe them meeting as they’re a little older Wordsworth uses a metaphor, “A countenance in which did meet / Sweet records, promises as sweet :”( 15-16) saying that the image of Mary when he was younger is just as astounding as the time before. When comparing her to machine that can travel between life and death, “And now I see with eye serene / The very pulse of the machine…A traveler between life and death :”( 21-24) he illustrates her change from mystery to reality. Lastly, Mary has become a woman with "reason firm, the temperate will, /Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;” (25-26) which is when reveals his in love. The poem reflects Wordsworth's emotions tempered by the tranquility of wisdom through his use of figurative language. When evaluating, Williams poem...

Cited: WOLFSON, SUSAN J. "Wordsworth, William." Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire. Ed. John Merriman and Jay Winter. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2006. 2481-2483. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Feb. 2012.
" William Wordsworth." 2012. 8 Feb 2012, 06:35
"Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit:
Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Feb. 2012.
"Wordsworth, William." Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of World Literature. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 1705-1708. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.
“She Was A Phantom of Delight.” Dove Cottage & the Wordsworth Museum.
Arts Council England, N.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.
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