The Prelude

Analyais of a Passage in The Prelude 12th Grade

In the stichic passage from William Wordsworth’s autobiographical poem The Prelude, the speaker, who represents Wordsworth himself, encounters unfamiliar aspects of the natural world. The passage is a bildungsroman in verse, a coming-of-age poem that chronicles the psychological growth of the speaker. In the passage, Wordsworth deals with two separate streams of consciousness—one former and one current—to highlight the speaker’s changing responses to his experiences in the natural world.

Wordsworth sets the passage in a secluded part of nature to isolate the speaker, allowing him to form a sense of consciousness, or self-awareness on his own. After finding a boat by serendipity and setting sail in the lake at dusk, the beauty of nature transfixes the speaker. The speaker’s fascination with the natural world causes him to speak in a tone of veneration, as if at the mercy of a force greater than himself.

From the point of view of first-person, Wordsworth creates the speaker who presents the story of Wordsworth’s former self, giving the reader a direct insight to the speaker’s thoughts and feelings. This point of view highlights the speaker’s developing consciousness and his changing responses to his experience in the natural...

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