Tintern Abbey A Poem by William Wordsworth Essay

Tintern Abbey A Poem by William Wordsworth Essay

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William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey describes a return to a location the speaker has not been to for 5 years. The focus of Wordsworth’s poem is to show memory, more specifically memory of a unity with nature. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Locksley Hall similarly describes a return to a location. This location provides particular sentimental value to the speaker as he spent his childhood there and, importantly to this poem, the place where he fell in love. Analysis of the two poems provides insight into the two different eras they represent, as they are written on a similar subject matter with a varying message. Wordsworth uses this meditation on a formerly significant place to discuss romantic ideals of proximity to nature and how childhood allows for a closer connection to nature. Tennyson on the other hand uses his feelings on Locksley Hall to draw light on failures in society. The focus of this essay is to show how memories of the past show romantic ideals of connection to nature through Wordsworth’s poem and the Victorian aim of critiquing materialism through Tennyson’s poem. In William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey and Alfred Tennyson’s Locksley Hall childhood memory is used to reflect changing mindsets of poets that represent different generations.
The forms of these two poems reflect trends seen at the time of their publishing. Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey is written in unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter, otherwise known as blank verse. Blank verse can be read easily as it bears resemblance to prose. In addition to this, iambic pentameter is commonly used to mimic natural speech patterns making it simple to read, an ideal of the romantic period. Locksley Hall is a dramatic monologue with 97 rhyming couplets. The dramatic monologue was...


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... upon when reminded of his youth.
Childhood memories allow the speakers in both Tintern Abbey and Locksley Hall to meditate on the past, present and future. Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey uses memory in order to discuss themes of connection to nature and aging. This is done by the previously mentioned bringing forward of past feelings and comparisons to his younger sister. This theme of connection to nature is indicative of the romantic era in which it was written in and which Wordsworth was at the forefront of. Tennyson’s Locksley Hall presents ideas typical of the Victorian era through the speaker’s dramatic monologue. The speaker uses the dramatic monologue form to speak his thoughts on his past love who left him, and what this says about society. Through memory both of these poems illuminate ideas which are typical of the respective eras in which they are written.

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