Paper about William Wordsworth (2014)Trabajo Inglés
Nature as a moral teacher for William Wordswroth.
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William Wordsworth and the meaning of Nature
Nature as a Moral Teacher
Readers of Romanticism literature consider William Wordsworth to be
the poet of Nature. His love of Nature is reflected in many of his poems.
For instance, in Tintern Abbey, we realize the development of Wordsworth’s love for Nature that starts being a simply playground for him and ends acquiring a spiritual character. Hence, Nature is seen as a moral teacher.
On the one hand, Wordsworth feels a strong love of Nature which is the opposite of the corrupted modern-life at all. What makes him feel pleasure is the landscape.
The natural experience carries out impulses and overflowed descriptions of what he is feeling. This natural way of feeling is due to he is the poet and the one who feels it in tranquillity. The poem is the result of Wordsworth’s recollection of the spontaneous overflowing feelings. With all these feelings recollected, Nature’s role is to be the moral teacher, at the end. Words simply flow at the same time the poet is feeling and the poem develops at the same time the poet is growing up. Nature is what turns the poet into a kinder man as we notice in Tintern Abbey: “FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length Of five long winters! And again I hear These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs With a soft inland murmur.—Once again Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, That on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep secluded; and connect The landscape with the quiet of the sky.” Meanwhile, on the other hand, modern-life represents the corruption of the world of sins. A world where does not exist the truth, feelings or senses and, moreover, where our conscious mind cannot mature by experimenting. In Tintern Abbey, there is a maturation of the poet throughout natural experience. By contrast, the poet emphasises, in Early Spring, his agony after looking at what men has destroyed. Sadness and alienation is what the poet feels once being separated from Nature.
“To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man.” (Wordsworth: Early Spring) In We are Seven, we realize the idealisation of childhood. Things of life have not to be learnt from social institutions such as the church, but they have to be learnt in Nature directly. Hence, we see the notion of nature as the best moral teacher because, through this transference to Nature, there is no corruption and the true of wisdom is that children are the fathers of the man because they represent innocence and they do not know corruption.
“Wordsworth maintains that the poet should treat of things not “as they are”, but “as they seem to exist to the senses, and to the passions.” (Wharton: The Influence of the Popular Ballad on Wordsworth and Coleridge, pp.301) According to Wordsworth, no poem has to be composed under appearances but under a pleasant and grateful intimacy. The elevating influence of Nature gives joy to human hearts, as in Tintern Abbey. The condition of life the poet knows is in a state of great simplicity of Nature. Passion of men is included in the permanent form of Nature.
“…but in Wordsworth’s opinion poetry should have a purpose and should be the product of a mind which has thought long and deeply.” (Wharton: The Influence of the Popular Ballad on Wordsworth and Coleridge, pp.302) Reflection and emotion Nature make the poet feels is Wordsworth emphasised the moral influence of Nature regarding it as a great moral teacher and as an elevating influence. As we see in the poems, Nature gives joy to human heart and it also provides human a truly way to learn from life.
Bibliography Mead, Marian. Wordsworth’s Eye. PMLA, Vol. 34, No. 2 (1919), pp. 202-224.
Cerf, Barry. Wordsworth’s Gospel of Nature. PMLA, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Dec., 1992), pp.
Wharton, Charles. The Influence of the Popular Ballad on Wordsworth and Coleridge. PMLA, Vol. 29, No. 3 (1914), pp. 299-326 ...