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The Romantic Turn in Poetry; Mimeticism vs. Expressivity in William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"

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The Romantic turn in poetry; Mimeticism vs. Expressivity William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud" The different forms of literature can be categorized according to a model by M. H. Abrams. universe work artist audience The dominant relation between these terms at various times defined what was considered literature. If literature was defined by the relation work-universe, it was called Mimeticism; if it was work-artist, is was called Expressivity; if it was work-audience, it was called Pragmatism. There is also a fourth category concentrating only on the text itself, called Objectivity. Of these four forms of literature mentioned, we are going to focus mainly on the first two. Mimeticism The oldest conception of literature and the most enduring one is Mimeticism. Mimeticism can be defined as the imitation of already existing things in nature and literature. Therefore epics and drama were considered the highest forms of literature. It was first defined by Plato, who used it derogatively to describe all kinds of art and literature as mimetic and therefore not useful for finding truth. It was Aristotle who made Mimeticism one of the most important features of poetry. Thus poetry became equal with history and philosophy. In the Renaissance poets mainly focused on Ancient Greek epics and again put focus on Mimeticism. ...read more.


Different levels in communication L1: * A1- real author William Wordsworth, who describes a biographical event, in which he went on a walk with his sister. * R1-real reader At that time usually a single person and not a crowd. L2: * A2, the implied author, as well as R2, the implied reader, don't exist in this poem. L3: * A3-fictive author The narrator, who narrates the story in a monologue, talks abouts moods and remembers a past experience. Line 15, "A poet could not but be gay", makes clear that he is a poet. He creates the world within the text. * R3-fictive reader Doesn't exist in this case. In the poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" the real author (A1) describes a real, biographical event. The fictive author (A3) narrates the "story" and creates the world within the text, and also relates to the real reader (R1) the emotions, which this biographical event caused. There is no abstract author (A2), fictive reader (R2) or implied reader (R3), which means that the poem is not directed at a specific character in the poem; it is simply an expression of the fictive author's emotions. The world within the text consists of two different places: * Nature, the outside situation, is described from the first to the third stanza by the words: cloud, vales, hills, daffodils, lake, trees, breeze, stars, milky way, baywaves * At home, the inside situation, is described in the fourth stanza by the word couch. ...read more.


Here the Poet describes how this experience still and repeatedly influences his being, therefore the last stanza is written in the present tense. The poem can be seen as the result of 4th stanza, by remembering the experience he writes the poem down. Similes and metaphors Man is compared to nature and human attributes are given to nature. * Similes: I wandered lonely as a cloud (line 1), Lines 7 and 8 --> simile to 9 and 10 ("continuous..." etc.) * Metaphors: fluttering and dancing in the breeze (line 6), tossing their heads in sprightly dance (line 12), jocund company (16), wealth (18), my heart (...) dances with the daffodils (23, 24) Isotopies There are 3 main isotopies. All these Isotopies stand in harmony to each other and do not stand in contrast to each other. Nature Man Emotions cloud float (high) vales hills golden daffodils lake tree breeze stars shine twinkle milky way margin of a bay sparkling waves couch daffodils wandered fluttering dancing twinkle saw glance tossing heads dance danced out - did sparkling poet company gazed show my lie flash inward eye heart dances lonely sprightly glee gay jocund wealth vacant or pensive mood inward eye bliss solitude heart pleasure Metrical feet The poem is written in an iamb. line 1: I wandered lonely al a cloud x x | x x | x x | x x Stress Depends on where you want to put emphasis on. (eg. ...read more.

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