Incidents Upon Salisbury Plain Poem Essay

1636 words - 7 pages

The poem Incidents upon Salisbury Plain (otherwise known as Guilt and Sorrow) is a prime example of Wordsworth’s political visions of revolution for social equality, being weaved into his poetry. In the poem, Wordsworth writes of a society wrought with war and the misery experienced by a vagrant woman and wandering soldier. The poem captures a sense of despair, loneliness and disillusionment - no doubt a poetic representation of how it felt to live in a time of civil unrest. It could be said that the wanderer is comparable to the lower class, displaced without care, constantly searching for a sense of belonging. Wordsworth effectively exposes the isolation and despondency of the working class in the sense of dejection portrayed by the protagonists. The narrative structure is such that it forces the reader to view England through the eyes of someone who lived a poverty stricken existence. In the first few lines, Wordsworth details the differences between social castes and the segregation of one from another. This introduction can be seen as an insight into the poem’s pursuit of a means to transgress social limitations and thus demonise a social hierarchy which promoted inequality. The female vagrant acts as a device to solicit sympathy for families broken by war:

“Husband and children one by one, by sword
And scourge of fiery fever: every tear
Dried up, despairing, desolate, on board
A British ship I waked as from a trance restored”7 (lines 321-324)

The woman is detached from reality, having lost everything she once knew and is left wandering Salisbury Plain, finding solace in a decaying spital. As within many of his poems, Wordsworth reverts back to nature as a symbol of purity and hope, presenting the morning sunlight as a physical embodiment of the optimism felt by the protagonists. It is a literal representation of the ‘coming of a new dawn’ in which the soldier and vagrant rise up against the societal rebuttal and neglect that they have been subjected to. Although Wordsworth places huge emphasis on nature as a force with which we should be reconciled, his revolution was not primarily “a back-to-nature movement”. Rather his movement was one which “called for a fresh and mutually fructifying reunion of reality and ideality.”8  Essentially, Wordsworth was calling on people to restore balance in their lives, rather than perpetuating the cycle of consumerism which meant that the rich became richer, and the poor poorer.

Wordsworth believed that through poetry he could grasp the inner workings of human nature, thereby illuminating to his readers the ingrained psychological facets of life. In Salisbury Plain there is a clear sense of revolution; the two wanderers are determined to survive and rise against the darkness, despite adverse conditions. This deep seated, indomitable desire to survive is a feature of evolution, implying that revolting against a system that suppresses and denies life, is simply an instinctive action. It is this...

Find Another Essay On Incidents upon Salisbury Plain Poem

Jack the Ripper Essay

9469 words - 38 pages in the 1990s, but he was also bent on terrifying a city and making thewhole world take notice of him by leaving his horribly mutilated victims in plain sight.Lastly, the Ripper was never caught and it is the mysteries surrounding this killer thatboth add to the romance of the story and creating an intellectual puzzle that people stillwant to solve.The VictimsIt is unclear just how many women the Ripper killed. It is generally accepted that he

Night Of The Scorpion And Not My Business

2654 words - 11 pages experience with people within his community who inappropriately believe it is in their right to do what they want to innocent people. Osundare witnesses a number of horrific and unfair incidents, which he cowardly ignored because it is 'Not his business'. Unfortunately, Osundare realises the foolishness of his choices at the end of the poem, when it's his turn to be kidnapped and beaten.The first poem, Night Of The Scorpion opens with 'I remember the

Lewis Carroll

2285 words - 9 pages ; 1886 Paraphrase In attempting to paraphrase this particular poem it must be considered that it derived from a book written almost purely of nonsense. Many of the words in this poem are the own creation of the author and only he knows the real interpretation. However, some of the words have been described in the book and others in letters by the author. The words of the previous poem are often a combination of two, maybe

Field of Autumn, by Laurie Lee

972 words - 4 pages stanza in order to further contrast existence and demise. This part of the poem is heavily dosed with metaphors that make reference to death. Lee compares the gradual change of seasons to the culmination of life: “Slow moves the hour that sucks our life, slow drops the lost wasp from the flower.” Lee builds up suspense towards the end of the poem until “the rose tree’s thread of scent draws thin and snaps upon the air”, terminating life and

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Politics

1693 words - 7 pages Lawrence Ferlinghetti's PoliticsI hope I won't seem too politically incorrect for saying this but after immersing myself in the writings of the guilt-obsessed asexual Jack Kerouac, the ridiculously horny Allen Ginsberg and the just plain sordid William S. Boroughs... it's nice to read a few poems by a guy who can get excited about a little candy store under the El or a pretty woman letting a stocking drop to the floor ("Literary Kicks").For

I Like The Look Of Agony

1577 words - 6 pages word is simple, plain, and unattractive. Homely and its synonyms also describe Dickinson’s lifestyle. It adds a feeling of genuineness to the poem. Dickinson had an appreciation for simplicity. “Homely” connects Dickinson and her genuineness, and the connection is why she enjoys the look of agony and the reason she was compelled to write this poem. People have a tendency to fear pain and agony. The use of literary devices adds to this poems

The Deposition of Richard II in Richard II by William Shakespeare

806 words - 3 pages way to fund his war. After the death of Gaunt, Richard will claim Gaunt's lands as his own and use Gaunt's wealth for the war. Richard's coldness towards his uncle shows his lack of respect for anybody but himself. This lack of respect will help lead to his downfall. Gaunt curses Richard upon his deathbed. This curse is a bad omen and a prophesy of Richard's downfall. Richard's foolishness is shown when he chooses to ignore his dying

ballad form in the rime of the ancient mariner

1289 words - 5 pages through love 'A sprig of love gushed from my heart/ And I blessed them unaware'. The instability Coleridge inflicts upon the form contributes to its meaning as it reflects the instability of the poem with regards to the defining it as a Christian poem or a criticism of Christianity. The rhyme scheme associated with the ballad is A B C B and although the stanzas do take this form ,internal rhyme is used as well such as in Part I 'the ice

Analysis of "The Hollow Men", by T.S. Elliot.

595 words - 2 pages " is controlled by intellectual principles, in the way the poem consciously evaluates experience in abstract terms, distinguishes between opposing states of being, and establishes, both in form and subject matter, the illusion of visionary experience. The poem represents the progress of Eliot's own "intellectual soul", but this progress is frustrated by the poet's attraction to a visionary imagery."The Hollow Men" replaces the rich and chaotic

Stonehenge.

779 words - 3 pages marvel and wonder of he world are not only numerous, but also intriguing.Stonehenge, a word with Saxon-origin meaning "hanging stones", is located on Salisbury Plain in mid-Wiltshire, England. Although it is composed of massive stones, it is still relatively small in diameter, measuring a meager 35 paces across, or about the size of the dome in St. Paul's Cathedral (Chippindale 10). Even though the possibilities are endless, it is believed to

Poetry Analysis: "Apostrophe to the Ocean"

950 words - 4 pages stanzas discuss the major conflict of the poem: man versus nature. In these parts, Byron concludes that man has ruined the land; he says, “Man marks the earth with ruin – his control/ Stops with the shore; - upon the watery plain” (12–13). Even though the humanity has exploited the land, according to Byron, it cannot reach the vast depth of the ocean. Byron also utilizes many poetic devices such as similes and imageries to contribute to the effect

Similar Essays

Stonehenge Essay

1896 words - 8 pages than a circular ditch dug in the soil of the Salisbury plain, with the excess soil piled up to make an embankment approximately six feet tall. This area is approximately three hundred thirty feet in diameter, and encompasses “Stonehenge proper” – the familiar circles of massive stones that once stood upright as well as the large horseshoe arrangement of standing stones near the center of Stonehenge. (Trefil 48) The outer ring of Stonehenge proper

A Narrow Fellow In The Grass By Emily Dickinson

979 words - 4 pages “boggy acre,” this is where we all create our own picture of the location of the poem. Another appealing visual aspect is the “Whip lash” unbraiding in the sun, the boy completely unaware of what the rope really is. Next, the poem describes Nature’s People, which give the picture of ordinary people in the town, plain town folk of all stature. Lastly, the idea of “tighter breathing,” this creates the picture of the boy just frozen still and

"The Waning Influence Of Christianity In Medieval Europe"

2133 words - 9 pages absolution by the clergy. While it was a sin to kill Christians, the knights were actually upholding their religious duty by killing the Muslims. Charlemagne's victory at the end of the poem, defeating the Muslims and avenging Roland's death, is a reference to the Crusade's capture of Jerusalem in 1099 A.D. While the crusading troops murdered Muslims, Jews and Christians alike, Charlemagne forces conversion upon the captured people, yet allows the

Tintern Abbey. A Detailed Study. Essay

3349 words - 13 pages through a series of emotional states. BACKGROUND. Some biographical background helps clarify the poem. Wordsworth had first seen Tintern Abbey, an old ruin, in 1793. At the end of 1792 he had returned from France full of enthusiasm for the Revolution but grew dejected when England went to war against France. His friend William Culvert had asked Wordsworth to join him in a walking tour of southern England, but the two separated at Salisbury Plain