Theme of William Wordsworth as a Prophet in Tintern Abbey

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Poet as Prophet When I spoke last, I ended with the image of Wordsworth as a monk or priest-like figure zealously converting Dorothy and, by extension, the reader into a position within his vision of the world. But even more than priest, Wordsworth often depicts the romantic poet as prophet. This depiction is demonstrated more clearly in "The Prospectus to the Recluse" than in "Tintern Abbey." In the 1814 version of the "Prospectus" he writes: Paradise, and groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields -- like those of old Sought in the Atlantic Main -- why should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was? For the…show more content…
But how does Wordsworth, the transcendent and visionary poet, create community with the rest of ordinary mankind? As he does with Dorothy in "Tintern," he creates an ideologeme. He inserts the idealized romantic poet into the ideological center as conversional prophet, interpellating those around him into similar subject positions, resulting in what he believes to be universal unity, the romantic utopia. As I will look at later, this vision is both created through and reflected in the landscape. Although unable to label it as such, Wordsworth attempts to establish Althusser's specular interpellation with the romantic poet as absolute other. Because the aim of the romantic subject is unity with the entire universe including all of mankind, the poet, although a heightened and therefore exiled (separated) individual, is seen to differ from regular man not in kind, but in degree. Wordsworth proclaims, "the poet is chiefly distinguished from other men by a greater promptness to think and feel without immediate external excitement, and a greater power in expressing such thoughts and feelings as are produced in him in that manner. But these passions and thoughts and feelings are the general passions and thoughts and feelings of men" ("Preface" 172). The heightened poet perceives and transmits a universal consciousness. The romantic poet is seen as unique yet as one who can speak to all,
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