Write a critical analysis of the poem Daffodils (I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud) by William Wordsworth

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When writing a critical analysis of a poem there are certain criteria that you should consider. I will give you some guidance here to help you write your own analysis. The eNotes study guide will be a tremendous help as it covers much of what you need.

Consider the poet’s intent when he wrote the poem (see below how this poem contains a personal message to ‘you’ the reader)

Look for a deep understanding by considering the language and the literary / poetic devices in use.

Write about the setting, the topic, the voice (1st person), the tone, the sequence of events, any symbolism (you will be able to explain this when you discuss the devices used) and of course how the poem concludes.

Wordsworth wrote I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud or Daffodils in 1805 although it did have several adaptations after that. His sister, Dorothy was instrumental in the poem as she made a lengthy journal entry of the day they saw the daffodils in his beloved Lake District (UK) in 1802. His wife even contributed two lines (they later became lines 21 - 22).

They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,

Only upon the final adaptation and addition of the stanza about the Milky Way stanza did Wordsworth fully appreciate the vision of the daffodils:

my heart with pleasure fills,

 And dances with the daffodils

The poem is written in the first person and ensures that the reader is drawn in to Wordsworth’s own personal experience. It is simply written, in a style much preferred by Wordsworth. The breeze (wind) and all things nature are apparent. 

Wordsworth uses 

simile           ..lonely as a cloud

alliteration     beside the lake, beneath the trees

 metaphor/ personification          Fluttering and dancing in the breeze                                                                                           Tossing  their heads in sprightly dance                                                                                                                  inward eye (metaphor) etc

Wordsworth's mood is both pensive and then seeminlgy cheerful thereby setting the tone. Once you have discussed everything you can conclude that Wordsworth is 'empowered'  

to utter his enduring inner experience.


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