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Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798

by William Wordsworth

Awe and Amazement Theme

In "Tintern Abbey," the speaker's reaction to nature is one of awe. He finds the view from the banks of the river Wye to be jaw-dropping-ly, breathtakingly, almost indescribably beautiful. His breath, at one point, is actually taken away. And once he has his epiphany about the divine "presence" in all of nature, his awe is turned to a kind of piety. He becomes a devout worshipper of Mother Nature.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. Do the "dizzy raptures" (85) felt by young William stem from the same source of awe as the transcendental understanding attained by the speaker?
  2. In lines 134-137, is the speaker blessing his sister, or asking Nature to do so?
  3. What is it that brings on the state of "suspended" breath at line 45?
  4. What makes Dorothy's "wild eyes" "shoo[t] lights" (118-9)?
  5. How is the awe felt by the speaker in viewing nature transferred to memory for later use? Is it as potent in his memory as in the initial experience?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The "dizzy raptures" felt by the young William are the same in type, but not in kind, as the more transcendental experience of the elder speaker.

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