Chapter

‘Strength in what Remains Behind’: Wordsworth and the Last of the Race

Fiona J. Stafford

in The Last of the Race

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112228
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112228.003.0007
‘Strength in what Remains Behind’: Wordsworth and the Last of the Race

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William Wordsworth has a different way of presenting the myth of the last of the race compared to James Macpherson and William Cowper. In Wordsworth's works, the myth no longer shows despair but rather becomes a satisfying expression of the mysteries of the human mind. The myth comes to symbolize ultimate peace and reunion with the divine presence in nature. The poet's positive perception about the future may have been strongly influenced by his personal experience and disposition, but it is imperative that the general mood of his time be taken into account. In his attempt to recapture the excitement of the early days of the French Revolution, Wordsworth expressed his happiness through complete social integration in ‘The Prelude’.

Keywords: William Wordsworth; myth; race; The Prelude; social integration; French Revolution

Chapter.  11234 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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