'Extract from, The Prelude' - William Wordsworth


'Extract from, The Prelude' - William Wordsworth

Author Information

Willliam Wordsworth was from the Lake District who had a tough childhood with dispute between his Father, Uncle and Grandparents (from his Mother's side). His parents died when he was a child so was seperated with his sister and forced to live at his enemy grandparent's house. Therefore, he spent a large amount of time in his childhood in nature/outdoors to escape them. He was very depressed and saddened with life. As he got older he became more and more close with nature and felt Nature has the ability to teach improtant philosophys and ethics to everyday lives.

He was an early supporter of the French revolution but disliked and was disillusioned by violence at the end of it.


The extract is taken from the firsst part of the 3 part autobiographical epic poem which he never completed. His wife published the poem after his death. He had intention to explore the experiences from his past and future and expresses this in his poem through having almost a double narrative (one younger protagonist and an older voice almost patronizingly sensing the character's mistakes).


The poem is in the genre of Romantic Poetry. This was after the "enlightenment stage" of realistic poerty instructing people on morals in time of rationalism and scientific movement.

Romantic poetry is the opposite of enlightenment poetry and focuses on the power of the imagination. It is a style in art, music and writing encouraging creaters to be expressive. Also, it could symbolise the new relationship between man and his environment.

  • Dislike of urban life/ embrace of natural world (especially in reaction to the Industrial Revolution)
  • Love of supernatural elements
  • Use of everyday language/colloquialism

Brief Overview of the Poem's Action

  • Steals a rowing boat
  • Rows out
  • Exciting/joyful ride
  • Sees the mountain
  • Terrorfied/Intimidation
  • Harassed by his memories


  • One large stanza (very long) - The story has few breaks in it making it…




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