Analysis of Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth Essay

Analysis of Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth Essay

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Analysis of Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth


William Wordsworth existed in a time when society and its functions were beginning to rapidly pick up. The poem that he 'Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye', gave him a chance to reflect upon his quick paced life by taking a moment to slow down and absorb the beauty of nature that allows one to 'see into the life of things'; (line 49). Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey'; takes you on a series of emotional states by trying to sway 'readers and himself, that the loss of innocence and intensity over time is compensated by an accumulation of knowledge and insight.'; Wordsworth accomplishes to prove that although time was lost along with his innocence, he in turn was able to gain an appreciation for the aesthetics that consoled him by incorporating all together, the wonders of nature, his past experiences, and his present mature perception of life.

Wordsworth begins his poem by describing the landscape of the abbey as unchanged during the past five years. He emphasizes the lapse of time by stating, ' again I hear';, 'again do I behold';, and 'again I see';. He seemed to be overwhelmed with emotions that he, though up on a very far away cliff, was certain that a hermit was in his cave sitting by the fire alone. Wordsworth wanted so much to remember the place that he was allowing his perception of the past take over his present reality. More importantly he says, 'I again repose here?'; to express that the scene gives him a sense of reconciliation. He further illustrates the isolation, peacefulness, and greenness of the abbey to tap into his vague memories of past encounters.

Although there had been a 'long absence'; from the abbey, the memories of his hurried time in the Wye had consoled him ' 'mid the din of towns and cities'; (lines 26-27). 'With tranquil restoration'; Wordsworth has changed from the state of observing to the state of recalling his 'unremembered pleasures[s]'; (31). He had many times returned in spirit to the Wye, to escape the 'fever of the world'; (53). These memories have produced emotions beyond his understanding; enlightening him and relieving his frustrations. It is the abbey, 'in which the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world, is lightened'; and makes him become a 'living soul';. (40-49) Wordsworth was claiming th...


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...e it was 'full of blessings'; (134). And if she ever happened to be alone, scared, in pain or in grief, Wordsworth wanted her to look upon these 'healing thoughts'; (144) and think of him.

Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey'; is the poetry of consciousness and becoming aware of this state, and the understanding of where one fits into the scheme of everything within the world. Wordsworth looked into life as an active participant ready to grasp all knowledge and understanding that was available to him. So although he missed the abbey and lost some of his youth, he had gained ten-fold by being able to interpret his feelings through his own perception and knowledge. He had found a way to console himself, he had found a basis for hope in 'Tintern Abbey';. Wordsworth had become more thoughtful and saw the abbey in a different way than in his youth. He had learned how to appreciate things and wanted to instill those values in his sister/';Dear Friend';. Wordsworth had found the true comfort in nature and had incorporated that respect for nature in his life.


Works Cited:

Wordsworth, William. "Tintern Abbey." Romanticism: An Anthology. Ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. 265-269.

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