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William Wordsworth: A Study Of His Poetry And Its Reflection Of Romanticism Who Is William Wordsworth? Why Is He Called A Romantic Poet? How Does His Poetry Reflect Romanticism?

5645 words - 23 pages

William Wordsworth's poetry is characteristic of poetry written during the Romantic period. His pantheism and development of ambiance, the thoughts and feelings expressed and the diction Wordsworth employs are all symbolic of this period's poetry. In this paper, these characteristics will be explored and their "Romantic" propensities exposed. This will be done by utilizing a wide selection of Wordsworth's poetry spanning the poet's lifetime.His experiences are certainly mirrored in the subject matter of his creations and because of the inextricable link between Wordsworth the man and Wordsworth the poet, the poems discussed in this paper have been separated into three sections. The first section will deal with poems from the Lyrical Ballads. The second section explores Wordsworth's Sonnets. While the last section will deal with the "Ecclesiastical Sketches," as they have been referred to by critics and poets the like.In his famous poem "The Rainbow," Wordsworth grandly proclaims that, "the Child is the Father of the Man" (line 7). If we are to consider this claim on the basis not of its philosophical merit but rather of its personal relevance to the poet, this statement must be considered an absolute truth. For Wordsworth, through his poetry, explores himself: his thoughts, motives and feelings; in short Wordsworth poetry is in essence an exploration of the soul not of the mind and it is because of this that his poetry is so profound, so fluid and so "Romantic" in nature.Thus Wordsworth's poetry reflects him the man and hence the subject matter of his poems changes throughout the years as he goes through different experiences. In the poem "Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey," Wordsworth discerns that there are three main stages of development: childhood, youth and manhood.Indeed these stages can be likened to Wordsworth's poetical development. The publication of Lyrical Ballads marked Wordsworth's birth and early childhood while the Sonnets of 1802 and beyond definitely reflect a wiser, worldlier Wordsworth. However it is in his Ecclesiastical Sketches that Wordsworth the poet reaches the pinnacle of his development: his manhood in the world of poetry. Hence the separation of this paper into the three stages of his development.This poetical development occurs because of Wordsworth's own personal growth through his life experiences, many of which are recounted in his poetry. There is, undoubtedly, a direct correlation between his life and his poetical works and a thorough knowledge of his background is necessary to understand his poetry and the stages that it undergoes. For example, the poetry of the Lyrical Ballads is light and carefree in tone and ambiance while that of the Sonnets is somber and reflective. This is because Wordsworth suffers a period of political disillusionment with the defeat of the French Revolution which is heavily reflected in his poetry of the time.It follows naturally that if the subject matter and ambiance are...

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