Millennial Themes in The Prelude and Mont Blanc Essay

Millennial Themes in The Prelude and Mont Blanc Essay

Length: 1518 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Millennial Themes in The Prelude and Mont Blanc

On reading Book VI of Wordsworth's thirteen-part version of The Prelude, I was particularly struck by the passage in which, following his crossing of the Alps, the poet describes "the sick sight / And giddy prospect of the raging stream" (VI. 564-565) of the Arve Ravine as both an apocalyptic foreboding and an expression of millennial unity in his theory of the One Mind:

The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens,
Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light,
Were all like workings of one mind, the features
Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,
Characters of the great Apocalypse,
The types and symbols of eternity,
Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.
(VI. 566-572)

The unity of God, man, and nature is of course a common theme in Wordsworth's poetry, having been given equally memorable treatments in Tintern Abbey and elsewhere, but it was the seemingly paradoxical sentiment of this passage from The Prelude that made such a strong impression on me. As John Beer points out in his article "Romantic Apocalypses," "Although traditionally the apocalypse and the millennium have gone together, recently, the first, with its sense of doom, has been more prominent" (109). To a reader who has lived through the passing of both a new century and a new millennium, the phrase "Characters of the great Apocalypse" tends to evoke feelings of eschatological anxiety, and to suggest the fragility and transience of the landscape Wordsworth is attempting to describe. It is easy to forget that Wordsworth used the term in its original sense of "simply 'revelation,' the name given to the English version in the New Testament" (Beer 109); and that in its evocations o...

... middle of paper ...

... used the essential paradox of apocalypse and millennium not to prophesy the destruction of the existing world, but to make their readers aware of the greater harmony of the universe, both within and outside the boundaries of time.

Works Cited

Beer, John. "Romantic Apocalypses." Wordsworth Circle 32.2 (2001): 109-116.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. "Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamounix." 1816. Romanticism: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. 845-849.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Excerpt from "Journal-Letter from Percy Bysshe Shelley to Thomas Love Peacock, 22 July to 2 August 1876." Romanticism: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. 844.

Wordsworth, William. Excerpt from The Thirteen-Book Prelude, Book VI. 1806. Romanticism: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. 389-392.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

`` Mont Blanc `` And `` The Prelude `` Essays

- Percy Shelley’s “Mont Blanc” (1816) and William Wordsworth’s “The Prelude” (1805), both tell the story of the individuals meetings with an impressively, beautiful mountain landscape. In Mont Blanc, Shelley describes the icy glacial capped peaks of the Swiss Alp’s, whereas in The Prelude, Wordsworth describes his meetings with nature and his interactions with the landscape. Both these poems focus on the beauty of the landscape, and thrive off their own personal experiences which they have had with nature....   [tags: Poetry, Mind, Perception, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

Perspective on Group Project for Mont Blanc Essay example

- The Genesis of "Reading Mont Blanc" The project entitled "Reading Mont Blanc" began as a faint wisp of an idea while my group and I were browsing the hypertext in search of other topics. Happening upon the wonderful maps and illustrations of Wordsworth's travels through France and Switzerland, one member remarked that perhaps we could make use of these in some manner. Then, as the various images of Mont Blanc passed before our eyes -- some picturesque and others clearly sublime -- we wondered if these could not somehow frame an exploration of how nature was conceived and presented by the various travel writers, 'grand tourists', and (of course) poets of the Romantic era....   [tags: group project mont blanc]

Powerful Essays
742 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about The Prelude’s Prelude

- The nature of poetry remained an enigma to the majority of society in the late 1700s. Rigid to the didactic principles of the past, Wordsworth’s manifesto declared that poetry, as a collective, had become perverted by, then, modern society. He called for a return to the principles of classical poetry, in which the rhetoric of poetry, and its content, mattered. This, cataclysmically combined with the 1700s, existed in a state of chaotic order. Needless to say, this time period embodied social upheaval from the majority of its citizens....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Millennials and Politics

- Walking into the polling place on voting day is always a great thing. There are people of all ages casting their vote and making their opinions known. A few older members of the community walk out of the booths and a few middle aged parents walk in to take their place. A school bus from the local high school drops of a busload of twelfth grade seniors, all eager to vote for the first time. There are several other young people chatting with friends about how they are going to vote on various issues....   [tags: votes, millenial generation, social media]

Powerful Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

The Use of Themes and Motifs in Macbeth Essay

- Despite the fact that Macbeth was written a few hundred years ago, many of the themes and motifs used in the play are still considered effective literary devices in today’s world. Shakespeare uses his themes and motifs very effectively. First, Macbeth uses the theme of sleep very effectively in many scenes of the play. Second, Shakespeare uses the clothing and garden motifs, which are two very powerful motifs to reinforce our visualization and understanding of parts of the play. Lastly, the main theme of the play, “fair is foul and foul is fair” is seen constantly throughout the play....   [tags: Literary Themes]

Powerful Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

Themes In Romeo and Juliet Essay

- “A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” (Prologue Act I Line 6). The themes of Romeo and Juliet uncovers through the relationship of the main characters in the play. The most significant themes Shakespeare develops over the course of the play are fate, hatred and violence, and love. To begin with, fate plays a valuable role in Romeo and Juliet’s lives as well as in their deaths. Fate is demonstrated when Romeo never receives Friar Laurence’s letter. Friar Laurence is frustrated because he tries to warn Romeo that Juliet is not dead, “Meantime I writ to Romeo, That he should not hither come as this dire night, To help to take her from her borrow’d grave, Being the time the potion’s...   [tags: Literary Themes]

Powerful Essays
810 words (2.3 pages)

The Millennial Generation: A False Sense of Entitlement Essay

- Sixteen year old, Ethan Couch is sentenced to ten years of probation, after stealing beer from Wal-Mart, driving with three times the legal blood alcohol level, with six passengers, and then killing four people in a car crash. He pleaded guilty, claiming that his affluent raising which lacked limits led to his ‘affluenza’ impairing him to discern right and wrong. Many are infuriated that this teen is getting away with these inexcusable actions because of the resources his family has. The Couch’s were able to afford an excellent attorney that helped Ethan get let off easy....   [tags: Millennials & Entitlement]

Powerful Essays
3221 words (9.2 pages)

Themes in Shakespeare's Othello Essay

- Othello was written by Jacobean playwright William Shakespeare in 1603. It proved a huge success when first performed in 1604, in front of a huge audience. The story is one of Shakespeare’s great tragedy themed plays. Othello is the black protagonist and highly esteemed Venetian general. Iago is the ambitious but scheming villain of the play. When Othello promotes a man called Michael Cassio over Iago, he is furious and launches a malicious campaign against Othello. Meanwhile, Othello has married a white woman, Desdemona, without her father knowing....   [tags: Othello, Shakespeare, themes,]

Powerful Essays
1165 words (3.3 pages)

Response to Millennial Cults Essay examples

- Response to Millennial Cults Two themes I found throughout these essays included the views of the cults towards society as a whole and views pertaining to governmental tyranny. The Millennial attitudes of all these groups focus on catastrophic occurrences and how they can survive in the oncoming new world. The two themes of social and government evil evoking the new world seem intertwined in many of the cults. However, I find an example of cultural blame being the underlying factor of groups/cults such as those described in 'Millenarians & Violence, The case of the Christian Identity Movement' to particularly attribute the evils of the world to the Jews....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Le Mont Saint Michel Essay

- Le Mont Saint Michel Le Mont Saint Michel is a rocky cone shaped island or islet located just off the North West coast of France in the gulf of Saint Malo. It is home to one of France’s greatest tourist attractions named Le Mereille, this brilliant eleventh century gothic style church is often simply called Mont St Michel. What transforms this fairly typical gothic church into one of the most striking buildings of the world, and the destination of so many visitors over the course of the past twelve centuries, is its magnificent, almost arrogant location....   [tags: Architecture Descriptive History French Essays]

Free Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)