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Is Wordsworth regarded a pantheist? Explain the answer with the refrence of Tintern...

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samrasaki | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 25, 2009 at 3:45 AM via web

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Is Wordsworth regarded a pantheist? Explain the answer with the refrence of Tintern Abbey. Answer should be in simple English.

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

Posted August 25, 2009 at 7:19 AM (Answer #1)

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The idea of pantheism stresses that there is a divine beauty imbued within the world and the spirit of oneness and "divinity" is within the world.  The unity of both divine spirit and existing reality makes pantheism uniquely different from other doctrines that stress transcendence and separation between the human and the divine.  Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" contains pantheistic elements.  The fact that Wordsworth's revisiting of this spot of the Wye River from five years allows him to engage in a type of spiritual moment that fuses modern reality and past experience.  In this moment, time is transcended as the present and past become fused into one, with separate experiences becoming melded into one universal experience.  This "wholeness" represents a theme of pantheism where there is not a transcendence that needs to be actively sought, but rather experienced within the frame of one's mind.  These "spots of time" are moments where the universalizing of the subjective represents the essence of spiritual identity.  This is a pantheistic idea.    Throughout the poem, the speaker learns to "see into the life of things," pantheistic in both its application and implication.  Once again, the unverisality notion within consciousness is a critical element.

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 25, 2009 at 7:49 AM (Answer #2)

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Here's a definition of pantheism from dictionary.com:

the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.

Some people think that panteism means that everything is God; since the very concept of "God" is subject to so many different readings, I think this is a better way to look at it.  Everything in the world is a manifestation of God, and each of us has the transcendent ability to understand this reality; it's a knowledge that is not limited to Locke's knowledge.through.the.senses.  It also echos the concept of "The Two Scriptures": that God is revealed to us through the Word in Scripture and through direct manifestations through nature made available to us all.

Clearly Wordsworth connects with nature in a way that gives him life that life in the city (the antithesis of nature) cannot give him.  He is renewed just by being in the presence of nature.  This somewhat lengthy quote makes it clear:

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:--feelings too 30
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love.

I hope this is simple enough.

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