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Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey - Essay Example

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As a literary movement, the Romantic Period is recognized to have begun sometime during the 1770s and extended into the mid-1800s (“Introduction”, 2001). Under the reign of Queen Victoria, the Industrial Revolution came of age, blossomed and brought sweeping change across…
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Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey
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Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey

Characteristics of the genre identified by Welleck (2003) include a “revolt against the principles of neo-classicism criticism, the rediscovery of older English literature, the turn toward subjectivity and the worship of external nature slowly prepared during the eighteenth century and stated boldly in Wordsworth and Shelley” (196). The period idolized the imagination as the highest of human capacities due largely in part to its creative abilities and as a means of reacting to sweeping change in every aspect of life. It also esteemed nature not only because of the creative element inherent in it, but also because of the manifestation of the imagination that could be found within it in the sense that we create what we see. The world was full of symbols and signs that would portend future events and actions which were knowable through their relationship to the myths and legends of antiquity. The work of William Wordsworth epitomizes this period in the style and content of his writing as is seen in his poem “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” (“Tintern Abbey”).
The poem is structured in what is termed free verse and relates the thoughts and impressions of the poet as he revisits a place in the country he once knew quite well. In the poem, Wordsworth describes his impressions of returning to Tintern Abbey after a five year absence. Although his life has changed a great deal in the intervening years, he continues to point to areas in which nature demonstrates her constancy, such as in the flowing of the Wye and the presence of the old abbey. Wordsworth uses nature to establish a connection between himself and his understanding by using the ‘language of the senses’ to stabilize his thoughts. This language specifically names the objects seen in nature, therefore rendering it understandable by those who are not male, not educated and not fully ... Read More
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