A critical appreciation of "From the Prelude" by William Wordsworth

Essay by pashamHigh School, 11th gradeA-, October 2004

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This poem is Wordsworth's magnum opus. It has been taken from the Prelude, Book 1 that has been taken from a larger work of his known as The Recluse. The poem was written around 1789-'99. This was the same time that 'Romanticism" or the 'Romantic Revival' came into being. The poets of this period emphasized on emotions, they explored the relationship between Nature and human life, they believed in the power of the imagination and experimented with new ideas and concepts. They believed in originality.

William Wordsworth was a pantheist and he believed that everything was a manifestation of Nature. His personality and poetry were deeply influenced by his love for nature. He felt that Nature is an entity in her own right, and that she had a soul, life and being of her own. Wordsworth considered Nature as his guide, philosopher, friend and mentor in life.

The language used in the poem is simple and clear so that everyone can understand it.

The poet uses an oxymoron in describing the joy of stealing the boat, the joy of doing something wrong when he takes "troubled pleasure". In the line" my boat went heaving through the water like a swan " gives the image of the boat being graceful by the use of a simile.

The poem starts off as a pleasurable excursion with a picturesque and uplifting setting, it seems somewhat surreal. But, with the approach towards the crag the mood changes to something gloomy, haunting and formidable. The change of the mood is seen when Wordsworth describes the boat as an "elfin pinnace" and then goes on to describe the boat as his "bark" giving the idea of something that has lost its lustre.

In the scene where he steals the boat, Wordsworth describes the bold reckless...