How could Wordsworth be viewed as predominantly a pantheist?

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

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I think that Wordsworth can be seen as predominantly a pantheist because the natural world occupies so much in way of mystery, excitement, and zeal for him.  In his writing, I sense that the reverence of the divine can be seen in Wordsworth's love of nature.  If one substituted "God" for "nature" in the lexicon of his poetry, it is evident that Wordsworth falls at nature's altar.  I think that Wordsworth was too much of a non- conformist to embrace the established religious orders of the day.  He could not bring himself to formalized and structuralist notions of religion.  Yet, the spirituality to which he professed so much in way of loyalty was able to be channeled through his love of nature.  Wordsworth is predominantly a pantheist in his work because it is this natural setting where there is intense feeling of devotion and mystery.  Wordsworth is open enough to suggest that the natural world contains so much beauty that it lies beyond his understanding.  The elements of Pantheism are developed when Wordsworth uses his poetry to extol how the individual is subjugated and secondary to this natural world.  The personal relationship and from this, a larger relationship between humans and reality is where there is a definite and definable strain of Pantheism evident.  It is not merely that Wordsworth has an affinity for nature, but rather that its awe- inspiring revelation and configuration lessens the importance or ego of the individual.  It is here where the predominance of Pantheism is evident in Wordsworth's poetry and writing.

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sumayyamemon | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The term 'pantheism' was derived from the term 'pantheist', which literally means a person who believes in no other eternal being but the universe. Since most of the works of William Wordsworth express and support this ideology, it can be said that he was a pantheist. The root word is derived from the Greek words 'pan' meaning "all" and 'theos' meaning "God".

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