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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

The sonnet in iambic pentameter is probably the most familiar form in English poetry. A traditional sonnet has fourteen lines and a rhyme scheme. Pretty much all of the great poets before the twent...

Speaker

The speaker is mostly hidden from us – there is no "me" or "I" mentioned. But he tends to pop out from behind his veil of objectivity with this habit of telling us his emotions. He’s li...

Setting

This guy named dissolution is rising and falling, rising and falling. He goes seamlessly from end of a musical scale to the other, and then back down again, like playing a slide whistle. To the spe...

Sound Check

There’s something very Shakespearean-sounding about "Mutability." Maybe it’s because here Wordsworth is dealing about an abstract concept, as Shakespeare often did in his sonnets, even...

What's Up With the Title?

No, the title is not an advertisement for a feature on a new television set. There were no mute buttons in Romantic England."Mutability" means "the ability to change," but the word does not appear...

Calling Card

Ah, crumbly old buildings: aren’t they so romantic?! That’s much of the charm of the country of Italy, isn’t it? Well, actually, crumbly buildings are Romantic, as in they are a c...

Tough-O-Meter

The first couple of lines in this poem are enough to send you spinning off into confusion-land. What is this "low to high," "high to low" business? What, exactly, does Wordsworth mean by this vague...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

In this stern and proper poem, with its warning to avoid meddling with "crime" and other naughty things, there’s not a trace of steaminess to be found.

Shout Outs

Edmund Spenser and the "Mutabilitie Cantos" (title)William Shakespeare’s King Lear (line 12)
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