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Wordsworth's Gothic Poetics

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abstract
Wordsworth's poetry is typically seen by critics as healthy-minded, rich in themes of transcendence, synthesis, and optimism. The poet in this respect is contrasted with the other great poets of the Romantic tradition--Coleridge, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Blake--who are all generally related to the Gothic, or the Dark Romantic tradition. However, Wordsworth does indeed share many of the darker elements found in the works of the above writers, elements that critics use to classify them as such. The Gothic, in fact, very heavily permeates Wordsworth's writing, particularly in representations of the fragmented, psychologically disturbed self and in his tendency to vanish into the abyss of the mind in reaction to moments of sublimity and perversity. These gothic aspects appear not just in Wordsworth's early experiments with the genre (The Borderers, The Vale of Esthwaite, Fragment of a Gothic Tale), but they also manifest throughout his later works, including The Prelude. This thesis seeks to show how the more affirmative parts of Wordsworth's poetry and philosophy do not necessarily function as such when considered alongside the more pessimistic and disharmonious parts that disrupt this sense of affirmation.
subject
Gothic
Kara
Perversity
Poetry
Romanticism
Wordsworth
contributor
Lang, Robert James (author)
Wilson, Eric G (committee chair)
Kuberski, Philip (committee member)
Hena, Omaar (committee member)
date
2013-01-09T09:35:11Z (accessioned)
2013-01-09T09:35:11Z (available)
2012 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/37652 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Wordsworth's Gothic Poetics
type
Thesis

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