June 17, 2013
Deconstructionist Critique of “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”
In the poem “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal,” William Wordsworth discusses the death of a woman, most likely his love. In the poem, the woman is described in different ways as a thing. The first way she is a living, breathing, woman filled with life. The second way she is described as a lifeless, inanimate, dead thing in a more literal sense. He explains her death and how she is seen in that grim state. The title could point out the fact that the author was in some sort of lethargic state of mind: living in a dream or fantasy rather than reality. In the first two lines, the speaker speaks of himself in a poetic tone. When the speaker says “I had no human fears,” he could mean two different things. First, he could be saying that he is a brave, strong man even in times of tragedy like the one he was currently experiencing. He could also be stating that he was a brave, strong man once, and now that he has experienced gruesome tragedy, he has become broken and shattered. In the second two lines, the readers begin to realize that his lover has died when he refers to how she does not seem to age. Throughout the poem, the author implies that she has died, but he never directly says it. However, in the second stanza it becomes more obvious that she is dead when the author speaks of how she no longer has motion, sight, or hearing. The eerie atmosphere in the second stanza displays the agony and pain that the author experienced when writing the poem. This is one possible reason why the author never directly addresses his lover’s death. When the author says, “No motion has she now, now force,” it becomes known that the woman is still and cannot move. This subtly implies that she was once a very energetic woman, one who did not like to stay still for much time. He points out that she cannot enjoy the beauty of the earth around her when he says “She neither hears nor...
Cited: Zima, P. V. "Ambivalence and Dialects: Nietzsche 's Legacy." Deconstruction and Critical Theory. London: Continuum, 2002. 119. Print.
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