Term Paper “Tintern Abbey”

By | 13.01.2019

A review of William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey”.


This paper introduces William Wordsworth, a dominant writer of the romantic era, who is accredited for the change of poetry to free verse as opposed to the traditional iambic pentameter. The paper contends that some of the characteristics of this period include the love of nature, poems celebrating imagination, the individual as the center of life, interest in human rights and the importance of self-reflection. The paper discusses Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey” explaining that it clearly embodies many of the characteristics mentioned above. The paper portrays the poem “Tintern Abbey” as a sudden and strong expression of feelings, a meditative poem in which revisiting a familiar landscape triggers remembrance of the time past. The paper explores the poem’s use of memory to compare ones past to the present in a moment of self-reflection.

From the Paper:

“Moreover, the speaker asserts his new awareness associated with his transformation within the poem. The speaker attributes his acquired consciousness to his greater understanding of life. As a “thoughtless youth” he maintains he could not “see into the life of things”(50), for such a discovery requires thoughtfulness, reflection and knowledge. Furthermore, the speaker declares, “And I have felt/ A presence that disturbs me with the joy/ Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime” (94-96). To interpret this line, one has to consider the social state of the Romantic period, which showed great interest in human rights such as slavery and the poor, while also characterized by a sense of anxiety resulting form the ongoing French Revolution. Therefore, the insight, which brought awareness of his surrounding “presence” is also disturbing yet sublime.”