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Romanticism In Tintern Abbey And The Thorn

2036 words - 8 pages

Tintern Abbey + The Thorn

Romanticism is a core belief. It can be demonstrated in a complicated format, with themes and subjects that qualify a piece of writing as ‘Romantic’, however in the context of Romantic writing, Romanticism is indefinable by those who wrote it. A set of beliefs and literary practices nonetheless, however the main Ideas of tranquility, beauty in nature and humanity cannot be classified. As Wordsworth states ‘We Kill to Dissect’ the same can be said with his poetry. To be given a list of Neo-Classic tendencies, and then a subsequent one with its opposites, and then to call that ‘Romantic’ is, I don’t believe, the principal of Romantic writing in its context. I believe that both of these poems I have chosen (Tintern Abbey and The Thorn) show, in stages, the core beliefs of the Romantic Movement. Firstly, list of thematic aside, the poems show the beating heart of Wordsworth’s ideals in nature and in humanity, however it also does show the thematic, The importance of the individual, of subjectivity, that imagination has no boundaries. Both express the view that nature is the ‘music of humanity’ and particularly in Tintern Abbey, that tranquil contemplation is important to a man of any creed.

The locations often carry specific importance in Lyrical Ballads, Primarily because they give meaning to the individual who experiences them. Feeling and surroundings go hand in hand in Wordsworth poems. For example in ‘Lines left upon a seat in a Yew Tree’, the feeling of isolation and melancholy is compounded by his desolate surroundings, even though Wordsworth disapproves of this view, nature being subjective, it is still an important theme throughout. ‘Tintern Abbey’ is arguably the poem where the location is one of the most important messages in the poem, and its being contributes to the other feelings and thoughts in the poem. Wordsworth quotes ‘no poem of mine was composed under circumstances more pleasant for me to remember than this’*, which is an important fact to bear whilst reading Tintern abbey, as it is often unintelligible if the mood is sad, confused or joyous. The poem is written in five sections, with a changing concern in each, however the theme and description of nature remains emphatic throughout. Arguably so does the theme of time and repose. In the first section it is abundantly clear this is not the first time Wordsworth has been to this picturesque scene, ‘Once again do I Behold’, ‘when I again repose here’, ‘Once again I see’. These recollections’, in-between heavy description, make the reader aware that this repetition shows the significance of this area to Wordsworth. We learn at once that ‘five years have passed’ since his last visit. And learn later on he is a much-changed man Due to his budding friendship with Coleridge, his accepted vocation of a poet and his memory of the French Revolution. Wordsworth’s key element of Romanticism in this poem is, I believe, his feeling of...

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