I am writing this essay in order to give one interpretation of William Wordsworth's sonnet, "The World Is Too Much With Us". The poet seems to take the viewpoint of a Pagan and ascribes a godlike status to nature much along the way the Greeks did in their time. He then proceeds to use personification along with simile, metaphor, imagery and breaks in syntax to describe how we have fallen away or strayed from what nature meant us to be.
The poem starts off with the words in the title, "The world is too much with us, late and soon". This can be interpreted as how at times people can feel as though there is no recess from the world, or no way to "get away" from ourselves. This heaviness being brought upon us by the wasting of our "powers", and giving our "hearts away" to "getting and spending" of money and materialistic pursuits. When he says "Little we see in Nature that is ours", he seems to be saying that the human race has little left in common with the rest of what nature is. He capitalizes the word nature in this line as one would capitalize the word God or the pronoun Him in reference to God. In lines five-seven he uses vivid imagery to portray nature and again uses capitalization with the word "Sea" to illustrate the godly status he ascribes to the realm of nature. Line seven states "The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon" and here Wordsworth uses personification in referring to the sea as "her" to compare our giving our hearts away to materialistic pursuits, the way the bountiful ocean "bares" itself to the barren and desolate moon.
We see a fine example of how the poet uses simile during his descriptions of nature as in lines six and seven which s...
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...n him. In the last two lines Wordsworth mentions Proteus rising from the sea, and of hearing "Triton blow his wreathed horn". Proteus was an old man of the sea that could change shape. This could signify the poet's wish to change his own shape and become an animal or be like the sea itself and in that way closer to being godly. Triton was a sea deity blowing a conch shell, or an instrument. This could be metaphor for the art of poetry or art in general. A musician or an artist creates and is godlike in that sense.
In conclusion, no matter what interpretation one makes of this poem it is hard to argue that Wordsworth was against the prevailing religious atmosphere of his time. It is not too difficult to see why he is considered a revolutionary and a Romantic. He was born in 1770, and wrote this poem around 1806 during the conservative Victorian Age in England.
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