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Discuss Wordsworth "PREFACE TO THE LYRICAL BALLADS" as an attempt at reorienting...

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zoha | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM via web

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Discuss Wordsworth "PREFACE TO THE LYRICAL BALLADS" as an attempt at reorienting literary taste towards a new language?

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florine | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM (Answer #1)

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  First, Wordsworth insists on the fundamental idea that the Preface is a defence of the theory his poetry is based on. He starts by giving his support to Coleridge, referring to "the assistance of a friend", and the absence of any "discordance". He insistently lays emphasis on the naturalness and unsophisticated side of the style of his poems, on the particular rather than the general, that are beneficial to the expression of a more "philosophical language". Another element that pertains to his "worthy purpose" refers to "great national events" and  the counteracting of "evil". He then goes on to treat of the distinction that is usually established between verse and prose and states that "there's no essential difference." He thus intends to preclude any criticism or rejection linked to his "prosaisms". Yet, the pleasure depends on the metre, "the principle of similitude in dissimilitude." The metre serves to counterbalance and even "overbalance" the flow of passion, which is "recollected in tranquillity." Finally, he warns the reader against a kind of "false criticism" due to various reasons that include "habit" and "the rashness of decision."

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