Can the situation in "London, 1802" be applied to modern countries?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It seems to me that the fundamental issue in the poem is Wordsworth's claim that there is a need for an "awakening" that can only be provided through the likes of thinkers like Milton.  Wordsworth feels that there is a "need" in the state of England for someone like Milton.  For Wordsworth, the current state of "vanity" in England is something that demands rectification.  Certainly, this need to recognize that a country requires changing or some type of alteration is present today.  Modern nations look can look at themselves and demand that someone from their past, someone able to inspire individuals back then to be more than what they are now, is needed.  For example, the current economic and social crisis in Greece could very well necessitate the inspirational longing for a Homer or Sophocles, artists who represented the very essence of their nation's identity and towards whom a great deal of respect is felt.  For the Italians, the yearning for a DaVinci or Dante could also be evident.  In times of extreme challenges, when a nation is seen not to be at its best, there is a calling back or a recollection of figures that led and represented the very best.  The calling for a President Lincoln in American political thought is representative of this, borne out of a dissatisfaction for the modern political leadership of the nation.  In this, Wordsworth's poetic predicament is quite applicable to the modern setting.


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