Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Prelude

In the spirit of Easter, I figured I would analyze a section of The Prelude that spoke to me in a very religious manner...

William Wordsworth illustrates the deep messages of epistemology throughout lines 222-245. In these lines, he describes the emotions nature draws from him, and how nature itself is more than the surroundings and environment around us. Wordsworth utilizes diction and description to introduce a philosophical religious message to this work.

Initially, he uses the words sanctuaries, independence, and liberty. Sanctuaries are commonly tied to church, and this independence and liberty can be expressed because many people let themselves go to God during their time in a sanctuary by confessing their sins and striving to be better Christians day in and day out. Nature appears to be his "immortal," just like Jesus Christ is to Christians. Wordsworth is searching for a "philosophic song of Truth," and I believe Truth is capitalized because God created the nature surrounding him, therefore the "Truth" is the truth of God himself.

Wordsworth's passion for nature is apparent throughout the course of The Prelude. God created the beauty and magnificence of nature, and through Wordsworth's passion comes tranquility and easiness. Many Christians find strength and ease by looking to the Lord through prayer and reverence. As mentioned above, nature is his sanctuary where he finds his own freedom. But the line that speaks the most to me is line 227-230, "Some variegated story, in the main lofty, but the unsubstantial structure melts before the very sun that brightens it, Mist into air dissolving!" God clearly created the sun to assure our planet would thrive. God "dissolves" peoples' sins just as the sun dissolves (evaporates) mist on this planet. The sun and God appear as one because the sun provides light against darkness, just as God provides the light when Christians are lost in spirit.

Even towards the conclusion of the poem, nature appears to be just like faith to Wordsworth. He writes, "With meditations passionate from deep recesses in man's heart, immortal verse thoughtfully fitted to the Orphean lyre." Orpheus was a Greek god that was a superior musician. Wordsworth experiences this meditation, like a prayer, deep within his heart when surrounded by nature, and it is so deep, beautiful and easing, it is fitting to a Greek god's lyre. This illustrates the power of prayer. He also states he will "beguile [himself] with trust that mellower years will bring a riper mind." This line reminds me of the quote, "God will put you through hell, just to get you to heaven." In harsh and rough times, one can only believe and keep faith. Clearly, Wordsworth finds this faith and strength by being surrounded by nature. When he is experiencing rough times, nature puts him at ease and into an "immortal" frame of mind and a "clearer insight."

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