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Dead Culture Essay

1063 words - 5 pages

William Wordsworth wrote some of the most radical poems and stories in England’s history. The focus here will be four of his most radical texts which are; The World is too Much With us, London, 1802, The Prelude, and Tintern Abbey. These texts all have one thing in common and that thing is what makes them so radical. That theme is a dead culture that Wordsworth sees in England. Wordsworth wrote these works at a pivotal point in England’s history. These poems were all wrote around the late 1700s and early 1800s which was during and after the American Revolution or the English Civil War. That was a huge blow to the English Empire, mere peasants in America, embarrassed the great English ...view middle of the document...

His words drove deep and served their purpose well.” Wordsworth starts the poem by yelling John Milton’s name and saying that England needs his guidance greatly. “Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour: England hath need of thee:” He continues to talk about the state that London is in and by his description it is a very rough state. He describes the men as being selfish men with no manners, virtue or power. According to Chase Christensen, “Wordsworth does his best to really hurt the people of London’s pride. He is taking a stab at the loss of the American Revolutionary war by saying they have lost their power. He is adding salt to the wounds in hope that it will toughen his city and country.”

The Prelude, takes a turn towards the focus of the loss of hope. Wordsworth was a fan of the French Revolution, he saw it as an amazing thing for a group of people to do. However that was at the beginning of the revolution, by the time the revolution is winding down Wordsworth will lose all hope for the cause. Initially, Wordsworth saw the French Revolution a sign of power against oppression, but when the war began to take a nasty turn his opinion changed. Sidney Frederick does an excellent job of explaining Wordsworth's thinking, “Wordsworth was all for the French Revolution, until the rebels gained power and they then abused that power. Within a matter of months France had witnessed unimaginable amounts of beheadings, the soil in France was tainted with blood and that disheartened Wordsworth.” Sidney’s statement is supported by lines 41-49, “But now, become oppressors in their turn, Frenchmen had changed war of self-defense for one of conquest, losing sight of all which they had struggled for: now mounted up, openly in the eye of earth and heaven, the scale of liberty. I read her doom, with anger vexed, with disappointment...

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