Wordsworth's Poetical Works

who was Proteus and why does Wordsworth mention him in his"Thw World Is Too Much With Us"?

Proteus's identity and what he symbolizes?

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Proteus symbolizes how the power of mythology (Greek in this case) gives power to life and the poet longs for it.

“So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”

I can picture Wordsworth yelling these lines angrily standing on the shore and shaking a fist. He feels it would be so much simpler to go back the pagan beliefs of the Greeks of giving a sense of divine to all things of nature. Proteus was one of the mythological Greek gods of the sea, and Triton was the son of Poseidon and Aphrodite whose horn was a conch shell for calming or stirring the waters.