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Wordsworth’s claims for England is through metonymy. The uses of metonymy work in this way. It is that the church (altar), the military (sword), the intelligentsia (pen), home and family life (fireside), and the legal establishment (hall and bower) have all lost the sense of meaning and direction that is their heritage (have forfeited their ancient English dower). The claim Wordsworth makes for Milton is that the great epic poet was a special person, in tune with God and Nature, but that he was also a person who lived in “life’s common way.” Therefore he combined the intelligence and compassion necessary in a national leader. The metonyms of soul and heart refer to Milton’s spirituality and humanity.
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