3. William Wordsworth

1. Biography

William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cumberland in the English Lake District. 

He was educated at St. John’s College (Cambridge) and in 1790 he went on a walking tour of France and the Alps. His contact with revolutionary France filled him with enthusiasm for the democratic ideas. 

After that, the brutal war between England and France brough him to the edge of a breakdown. In those years he rediscovered in Dorset the beauty of nature and he recorded his life in ‘Journals’. In the same year, 1795, he was near Coleridge and they produced a collection of poems called Lyrical Ballads(1798). 

The second edition of 1800 contained his famous ‘Preface’ which is the Manifesto of English Romanticism. In 1805 he finished his masterpiece ‘The Prelude’ , a long autobiographical poem in 14 books. 

In 1843 he was made Poet Laureate and he continued to write poems until his death, in 1850, at the age of eighty. 

2. The Manifesto of English Romanticism 

Wordsworth belonged to the first generation of Romantic poets who were characterized by the attempt to theorize about poetry. 

Planning the Lyrical Ballads with Coleridge, they should deal with visionary topics, supernatural and mystery. His strong objection was to elevate language (poetic diction) and state what the subject and the language of poetry should be. 

Even the language should be simple, the objects are mentioned and called by their ordinary names. The poet is a man among men, writing about what interests mankind. 

3. Man and the natural world

Wordsworth is interested in the relationship between the natural world and the human consciousness. His poetry offers an account of the complex interaction between men and nature. 

Wordsworth is the idea that man and nature are inseparable; man exists not outside the natural world but as an active participant in it. 

Nature to Word...

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