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Spiritual Aspects Of Lyrical Ballads

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Introduction

Discuss the spiritual aspects of Lyrical Ballads Throughout Lyrical Ballads, the theme of spirituality seems to play an important role when looking at the poetic messages and opinions of Coleridge and Wordsworth. The spiritual aspects within this collection range from the beauty and power of nature coupled with the divinity and importance of the Alighty, a predominant feature of spirituality and crucially important in understanding the context of which the Lyrical Ballads were written. The theme of liberty and freedom is another important spiritual aspect that runs across the collection, used to portray the shackles of institutions and the rules and regulations of mankind. In terms of nature, 'Lines' is one poem that seems to portray nature as a spiritual safe haven, a place where negative thoughts and burdens are those of unimportance. In the sixth stanza, we see "From earth to man, from man to earth/It is the hour of feeling". Wordsworth's imagery here, beautifully defines the connection between man and nature, a connection where emotion and feeling flow freely and without boundaries. In the following stanza, Wordsworth writes "Our minds shall drink at every pore/The spirit of the season". Wordsworth here, is perhaps hinting at the idea that nature and its spirit can teach a man more that institutionalised education has to offer and, furthermore, the idea of 'drink at every pore' seems, in my opinion, to suggest that man needs every ounce of nature's spiritual wisdom to become one with nature. ...read more.

Middle

'Lines written near Richmond upon the Thames, at Evening' is another poem in which nature and divine beauty can be seen. It opens with "How rich the wave, in front, imprest/With evening-twilight's summer hues", which is typical of Wordsworth's serene and scenic language and already seems to be introducing to the reader, a form of divinity within this scene. In the third stanza, Wordsworth writes "Oh glide, fair stream! For ever so;/Thy quiet soul on all bestowing". Again Wordsworth's delicacy of words paints an ever-growing picture of peace and tranquillity within nature. Furthermore, Wordsworth seems to base his "quiet soul" on the omniscience of the Almighty, carefully watching over the natural and human world. It is a particularly spiritual poetic scene. In the last stanza, we read, "The evening darkness gathers round/By virtues holiest powers attended". With regard to Wordsworth's use of "darkness" in comparison to his earlier "how dark the backward stream", there is much debate surrounding the poetic meaning here. I would suggest, that by embracing the "holiest powers", the darkness is quite irrelevant. By embracing the natural flow of the river and trusting in the spiritually divine power, you can then embrace the darkness without fear or worry. It is not just the natural world that has a spiritual impact upon Wordsworth and Coleridge. Liberty is another spiritual area within Lyrical Ballads and is often coupled with the natural world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, in terms of spirituality, Wordsworth writes "body" instead of "life", which interestingly suggests that upon the death of man's "body", spiritual life is free to blossom. However, in the fourth stanza, Wordsworth writes, "too soon despair o'er me prevailed;/Too soon my heartless spirit failed". In relation to Wordsworth's notes on the poem again, it is easy to see the idea of "cleaving ...to life and society", as her want to survive almost stops her spirit from releasing the strains of human life. In the penultimate stanza, on the other hand, the theme of spirituality grows stronger as we read "In spite of all my weary pain,/I'll look upon your tents again', which suggests that the divinity within her soul begins to take more of a dominant role in helping her to depart from her human body. Wordsworth seems to be experimenting with the role of the soul and the spirit in this poem which makes it much more significant in terms of the spiritual aspects of Lyrical Ballads. In conclusion, spirituality plays an imperative part within the collection. We have seen both Wordsworth's and Coleridge's reliance on the natural world and the Almighty as spiritual guidance's helping mankind's spirit and soul to embrace what fears or darkness that may entrap him as. Similarly, the theme of liberty and freedom that is usually united with nature helps to release the spirit from the doubts and burdens of human life and the shackles of human society. (1460 words) 1 [M.M., I 381]. ?? ?? ?? ?? Freddy Elletson U6HJC - 1 - ...read more.

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