illustrated portrait of English poet WIlliam Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

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What are similarities between Wordsworth's "The Solitary Reaper" and "Daffodils"?

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In both poems, the narrator seems to have a remarkably emotional experience by observing someone or something in nature. In "Daffodils," the speaker is made to feel happy and "gay" as a result of the beautiful, dancing flowers. In "The Solitary Reaper," the song being sung by the young Highland woman makes him feel an exquisite sort of melancholy as a result of her "plaintive" song. He is so affected by both the sight of the daffodils and the sound of the maiden's singing that it continues to affect him even after he has left their presence. In both cases, the emotional effect on the speaker, as an individual, is of utmost importance, and this is in keeping with the Romantic tradition's focus on the individual and his or her emotions.

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In both poems, the speaker is walking in nature when he is stopped by a beautiful scene. In "Daffodils," also called "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," he is stunned by the beauty of the sudden sight of thousands upon thousands of daffodils in bloom. They are in front of a lake and swaying in the breeze as if they are dancing. The narrator feels joy as he watches them.

In "The Solitary Reaper," it is sound rather than sight that stops the narrator. He is in the Scottish Highlands and sees a young woman reaping in the fields. The sound of her song fills the air. The notes are more beautiful than the song of the nightingale, and though the narrator can't make out the words, he is transported by the tune's melancholy, plaintive melody.

At the end of both poems, the narrator experiences joy as he later remembers the experience he has had.

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