Will: William Wordsworth Essay

Submitted By HarryStylesWHY
Words: 870
Pages: 4

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) is one of the most famous poets in the history of English Literature. He was born in Cockermouth in Cumbria, part of the region commonly known as the Lake District, and his birthplace had a huge influence on his writing. So did the fact that his mother died when he was only eight years old. His father wasn't always around, although William did use his library for reading. William spent time with his grandparents who lived in nearby Penrith, an even wider and more rugged place. Wordsworth is believed to have started writing poetry when he was at school; during this time he was orphaned by the death of this father. He went to Cambridge University and just before finishing his studies he set off on a walking tour of Europe, coming into contact with the French Revolution, which informed his writing. He fell in love with a French woman and she had a child. Wordsworth returned to England before his daughter, Caroline, was born and war between Britain and France meant that he didn't see his daughter or her mother for many years. In 1802, shortly after visiting his daughter in France, Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson, a friend from his school days. had a great effect and for days afterwards he was troubled by the experience. The Prelude can definitely be viewed as an epic poem, in length at least. Epics are very long pieces of writing that usually deal with exciting, action-packed heroic events like wars or explorations. Although many of the events Wordsworth writes about are 'ordinary' they are given an epic quality, to fully describe the impact they had on his life. Structure and languageThere are no stanzas: the writing is continuous though there is plenty of punctuation to help us read it. This extract is a complete story in itself. It starts with "One summer evening..." and finishes with the effects on his mind of the boat trip: "a trouble to my dreams".SoundThe Prelude is conversational, as if Wordsworth is sat next to us, telling us the story himself. The poet uses "and"s throughout to give the verse a breathless quality. Listen carefully next time someone tells you a story: there will be lots of 'and's used.Imagery Wordsworth effectively describes the night-time atmosphere with his choice of images:Small circles glittering idly in the moon,Until they melted all into one trackOf sparkling light.But gentle moonlight becomes darkness as the poet-narrator's state of mind becomes troubled by the end of the extract:...o'er my thoughtsThere hung a darkness, call it solitudeOr blank desertion. No familiar shapesRemained, no pleasant images of trees,Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;This is imagery that could be associated with gothic (sinister or grotesque) tales, nightmares or even horror.Wordsworth continues with this imagery:But huge and mighty forms, that do not liveLike living men, moved slowly through the mindBy day, and were a trouble to my dreams.Personification is also used by Wordsworth: he refers to the boat as "her" (which is quite common in literature from that historic period) and the mountain peak comes alive and chases him:...a huge peak, black and huge, As if with voluntary power instinct,
Upreared its head...
For so it