Compare and contrast William Wordsworth's "Line Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" and John Keat's "Ode to a Nightingale." How are they similar and different in terms of structure, meter,...

Compare and contrast William Wordsworth's "Line Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" and John Keat's "Ode to a Nightingale." How are they similar and different in terms of structure, meter, rhyme scheme, tone, and use of Romantic characteristics?

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

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William Wordsworth's "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" is written in blank verse.  That means it is unrhymed iambic pentameter.  Each line contains 10 syllables with an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  The lines don't end with a rhyme.  Often, the lines do not end with punctuation either, which makes the sentences spill into the next line.  This is called enjambment.  Its tone is light and conversational.  The blank verse helps with that.  Wordsworth is reminiscing on being back where he is.  He comments on the beauty of the nature around him and the sense of spirituality that it brings him.  The poem is right in line with standard Romantic characteristics.  

John Keat's "Ode to a Nightengale" is more tightly structured than Wordsworth's poem.  It is written in 8 stanzas.  Each stanza is 10 lines long.  Lines 1-7 and 9-10 are written in iambic pentameter.  Line 8 is trimeter.  There is a specific rhyme scheme that holds throughout the poem.  It is ABABCDECDE.  The poem does have Romantic elements to it in that it is nature-focused (specifically on a nightingale).  It is not nearly as uplifting as Wordsworth's poem, though.  While Wordsworth focuses on the beauty of nature and the sense of peace it brings him, Keats describes himself in a sort of drunken stupor, debates the merits of death, and ends the poem feeling confused by not knowing the difference between reality and dreams. 

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