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I need some ideas of religous concepts in William Wordsworth's works throughout his life?

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psugar | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 19, 2010 at 10:38 PM via web

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I need some ideas of religous concepts in William Wordsworth's works throughout his life?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 20, 2010 at 6:17 AM (Answer #1)

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Wordsworth embodies English Romanticism in his poetry by combining nature images to a search for meaning and truth.  Often, his images and symbols could be considered religious.

Here are a few to get you started:

  • "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud": "A host of golden daffodills" - like angels.
    "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud": the speaker is a wanderer - can be compared to a wanderer looking for the meaning of life
  • "The Tables Turned": image of "light" - an image frequently used in the New Testament
  • "Ode: Immitations of Immortality": a memory holds an image of "celestial light" (heavenly light) but has turned to the "light of common day" by the time the speaker ages - the idea that as children we have a more profound sense of faith in the unknown and consider ourselves immortal
  • "It is a Beauteous Evening Calm and Free": the evening is described as being "quiet as a nun."
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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 20, 2010 at 10:31 AM (Answer #2)

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In the interests of providing an alternate point of view, I think a case can be made that religious fervor is viewed in a different context throughout Wordworth's poetry.  Part of his animating spirit is the break from conformity and from established tradition.  In seeking to inject the personal subjective voice back into consciousness, Wordsworth strives to create new realms of passion that are "different and better" than what was previously available.  I can see this extending to religion also, where Wordsworth found more reverential qualities in an open field than in the traditionalist preacher sermons.  This would be why in searching for religious concepts in his poetry, you might be better set to examine what he deems as worthy of being revered.  Check out the love of nature, the almost pantheistic like view of nature he displays.  Also, look for how he sees something transcendent in personal experiences.  His words for Dorothy in "Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey" contains more religious reverence than a standard expression of religion in his work.

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subrataray | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 22, 2010 at 1:19 AM (Answer #3)

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There is no traditional religious manifestation of idea in Wordsworth's poetry.He often seems spiritual with philosophic  bend of mind .He may be considered as a nature mystic .In his two poems ,-Tintern Abbey and Immortality Ode , we find him in between spirituality and philosophy .

Tin-tern Abbey is the poet's spiritual autobiography .Here he clearly states his feeling of an all pervading spirit , and assures us that he has felt a mystic feeling of a blessed mood in which the burden of mystery no longer remains , and in that state one can see life into things .It is the poet's pantheistic creed .Again Nature to him became the emblem of the Vast Unconscious .It simply proved to him , as a link to be one with the universe .

Once again , Wordsworth follows Henry Vaughan's The Rea teat in the theme of his great poem ,-Immortality Ode .Here he imagines that a child during its infancy remains with its heavenly glory .It retains those glory up to a certain age of childhood .Then the child becomes habituated with the earthly imitations and shades of prision house of conventions make the child forgetful of his prenatal spirituality .Yet , in old age , when we grow wise with the suffering of life , we often have the glimpse of that heavenly glory .For , the mind becomes free from the troubled passion , and hence the immortal sea flahhes in our inward mind .A survey of Wordsworth's poem , enables us to know the poet's  in between axes of spirituality and philosophy .

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