Tintern Abbey: Summary Essay

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Tintern Abbey: Summary William Wordsworth reflects on his return to the River Wye in his poem “Lines: Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour”. Having visited Wye five years prior, he is familiar with how enchanting the place is. He describes the natural wonders of the Wye, which travels past Tintern Abbey, a medieval abbey in the village of Tintern, which is in Monmouthshire, Wales. This Cistercian Abbey was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, on May 9, 1131. The abbey thrived, with many buildings being added, until it was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1536.
Wordsworth describes his journey through the abbey saying, “…Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect / The
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His mother Ann Crackanthorpe gave him and his siblings “room to grow, and trusted the rhythms of their inner lives and their hopes for happiness even when her own parents felt that she was not enough of a disciplinarian” (Mahoney 5). In contrast, while he also loved his children, Wordsworth’s father John Wordsworth was certainly more stern and worried about the character and mental well-being of his children. “Wordsworth was unquestionably fortunate in having such parents”, writes Mahoney (Mahoney 5).
Wordsworth traveled to France in 1791, where he witnessed the revolutionary movements of the French peasants. He agreed with the ideals of the Revolution, that the France should be a democracy, where each male citizen has freedom of speech and the right to own property, earn an education, and vote, which should be solidified by a constitution. Wordsworth says, “‘I disapprove of monarchial and aristocratical governments, however modified” (Mahoney 40). The environment in which Wordsworth’s parents raised him in was what led to this high intellectual ability and liberalism of his, which is clearly displayed in his works.
For Wordsworth, earth is “the anchor of my purest thoughts” (Wordsworth 109). By returning to Tintern Abbey, he is rediscovering himself by immersing himself in a secluded place of familiarity. While he did not support nobility-rule, he did value intellectual nobility because intellect is not something one is born with; rather, it is something one develops.
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