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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

Out of his Senses

Symbol Analysis

Vision (and hearing, to a lesser degree) is obviously important in this poem. But what about when the speaker is so overwhelmed that his senses get all mixed up or even seem to leave him?

  • Lines 43-5: The speaker slips into what we might call a meditative trance when he recalls the "beauteous forms" (22) of the river Wye. His breathing and even his blood seem to slow down, or become "suspended" (45).
  • Line 85: The speaker's past self, the boyish "William," used to feel so overwhelmed by the beauty he saw that he would feel "dizzy."
  • Line 90-1: The speaker has grown out of the tendency to fall into "dizzy raptures" (85). He might not feel "dizzy" anymore, but his sensory perceptions seem to be misfiring. He has learned how to "look" at something in order to "hear." Synesthesia, or the mixing up of different senses, sometimes indicates that a character is close to overwhelmed.

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