The Prelude

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  • Extract from    " The Prelude"
    • context
      • written by William Wordsworth, a pantheist who believed god was in everything especially nature.
      • an orphan who found comfort in nature away from his careers who treated him badly
      • seems  childhood in many of his poems
      • the prelude was written throughout his life and published after his death
    • language
      • "i unloosed her chain"
        • female pronouns- mother nature but also heavily sexualised through the eyes of this young boy       chain- this link to industry of the outside world but also this boys naive idea that he control nature and the world around him, contrasting themes of dominion.
        • to unloose= to let free, image of freedom however this quickly turns into something darker
      • prelude=an action or event serving as an introduction to something larger
      • ""rose up between me and the stars"
        • symbolic imagery: the event changes his fate but also intervenes in his religious ideas- stars ="fate", and the "heavens"
      • there hung a darkness; call it solitude
        • solitude- not loneliness, being alone with people- does the speaker feel abadoned by nature? hung perhaps connotes violence
      • change from idyllic image to darkness and solitude.
    • structure
      • 1 stanza
      • lots of enjabment and caesura
        • increasing pace, almost guilty admitting, incoherent and childlike. poem begins with lots of enjambment, perhaps to show the unbroken innocence of childhood as the poem goes on, increasing caesura perhaps to show his innocence ruined and broken
    • Form and meter
      • epic poem in conversational style
      • written in blank verse
        • incoherent  and childlike.


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