Theme Of The Prisoner By William Wordsworth

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1. Firstly, the themes and contexts of William Wordsworth’s poem “The Convict” is greatly depicted around the concept and representation of poverty and human suffering. This poem, in particular, is based upon imprisonment and “the impossibility of human reformation in confinement” (Gravil). “The Convict” is one of many of “Wordsworth’s early poetry which is overly concerned with all aspects of human suffering” (Gravil). It is stated that most of Wordsworth's poems generally “depict poverty, weakness, illness, [and] madness” (Gravil). There is evidence of both poverty and human suffering in Wordsworth’s poem “The Convict” and this essay intends to discuss and examine this representation.

2. From the outset of the poem, particularly from the
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On the other hand, it is evidently true that human suffering is one of the most dominant themes in William Wordsworth’s poem “The Convict”. It is obvious that physical appearance, characterisation, thoughts, feelings and emotions are amongst many factors that contribute to the power of human suffering in this poem. Wordsworth exemplifies an array of imagery in his poem to suggest that the imprisonment and isolation of the prisoner have resulted in severe conditions of human suffering. A detailed description and characterisation of the man is evident from stanza three in the poem. Gruesome imagery including “His black matted head on his shoulder is bent”, “stedfast dejection his eyes are intent” (Wu) gives an insight to the reader a representation of appearance and a description of someone who is suffering physical and potentially emotionally from the torments experienced in the captivity of his cell. A further description of the convict becomes almost terrifying to the reader “a body dismiss’d from his care/ His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is dried” (Wu). These horrific illustrations undoubtedly suggest that this poor man has experienced ultimate torture and misery as a result of his imprisonment and confinement to the shackles “that link him to death” (Wu). Wordsworth’s engagement with the physical appearance is carried throughout the poem. The poet’s description of the convicts limbs are very chilling and also touching for the reader to comprehend. “When…show more content…
Another of William Wordsworth’s poems that this essay intends to discuss in the context of poverty and suffering is “The old Cumberland beggar”. From reading and understand the poem “The old Cumberland beggar”, it is appropriate to suggest that this is another poem from the Lyrical ballads that examines the themes of poverty and suffering. From the introduction and title of the poem, physical appearance again appears to be one of the most evident and major influences of the conception of human suffering. From a reader’s understanding of the title and context of the poem, it is understood that the beggar in this circumstance is an “aged beggar” (Wu). Instantaneously, there becomes an image in the reader’s mind of an old homeless man who is feeble weak and lonely. These are all characterisations that represent poverty and suffering in Wordsworth’s poetry. Wordsworth describes a moment in the poem where the old man “ate his food in solitude”. The suggestion of suffering is depicted through the description of the moment where his food becomes “scattered from his palsied hand”, a hint of both poverty and suffering is then conveyed when it is explained that the beggar is “still attempting to prevent the waste” suggesting that this man experiences rough living conditions and
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