Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Samuel Coleridge’s Lime-Tree Bower Through the Lens of Wordsworth’s “Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent’s Narrow Room” College

In Samuel Coleridge’s “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison,” the speaker views the lime-tree bower he sits under as a prison, despite its beautiful description. He wishes to venture out with his friends and see the beautiful nature they will see, and as a result of desperately wanting to be somewhere else, he misses the beauty right in front of him and interprets the lime-tree bower as a prison. The speaker’s imagination turns something beautiful, the lime-tree bower, into something dark and suffocating. His mind transforms the nature around him and his negative thoughts entrap him in a prison he creates for himself. In Wordsworth’s poem, “Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent’s Narrow Room,” the speaker also explores the symbol of a prison as compared to daily responsibilities in one’s role, and the structure those routines impress on one’s life. The speaker in this poem warns against letting one’s mind have too much freedom, and encourages finding comfort in structure. Examining the speaker in “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison” with the wisdom of the speaker in “Nuns Fret Not” reveals where the former goes wrong in his reading of the lime-tree bower. This essay will argue that the symbol of the lime-tree bower and the prison in both works...

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