"Tintern Abbey" and "Ode on a Distant Prospect" Analytical Essay by Belza

An analysis of the descriptive and reflective elements in two eighteenth century poems; William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" and Thomas Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College".
# 115873 | 1,142 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2009 | GB
Published on Aug 16, 2009 in Literature (Poetry)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper analyzes both William Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" and Thomas Gray's "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College", that examine humanity and man's changing relationship with nature through an expressive overview of a place of emotional significance. The paper shows how both poems place an emphasis on physical, temporal and metaphorical distance in order to examine complex questions relating to the poet's past and future. The paper highlights how the descriptive and reflective elements of the texts interact with each other, enabling the poets to poignantly communicate ideas of memory, loss, and, ultimately, the restorative power of nature.

From the Paper:

"The first stanza of Tintern Abbey imitates the process of recollection by conveying the narrator's experience of the landscape before him in intricate detail. Wordsworth delights in depicting the tranquil serenity of his surroundings, appearing to savour such particulars as the "soft inland murmur" of the waters "rolling from their mountain springs". His gentle use of assonance enhances the sensuous nature of the piece, suggesting that the narrator's thirst is being quenched - albeit from a distance - after the aesthetic drought of "five long winters" in the city. This interplay between sense and recollection exposes an important aspect of much prospect poetry - the power of reflection and memory. Indeed, it is significant that Wordsworth writes of "Thoughts of more deep seclusion" , thus reminding the reader that the poem is not simply an objective description of the landscape."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Clarke, C. C, Romantic Paradox. Oxford: Alden Press Ltd, 1962.
  • Cooper, Andrew, Doubt and Identity in Romantic Poetry. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1988.
  • Gray, Thomas, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College".
  • Sherry, Charles, Wordsworth's Poetry of the Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.
  • Swingle, L. J, "On Reading Romantic Poetry", in PMLA, Vol. 86, No. 5. New York: Modern Language Association, 1971.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

"Tintern Abbey" and "Ode on a Distant Prospect" (2009, August 16) Retrieved September 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/tintern-abbey-and-ode-on-a-distant-prospect-115873/

MLA Format

""Tintern Abbey" and "Ode on a Distant Prospect"" 16 August 2009. Web. 28 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/tintern-abbey-and-ode-on-a-distant-prospect-115873/>