The Sublime—Tara Moses

            Throughout the entire piece, William Wordsworth painted this picture of a soothing place to clear his thoughts, however the creeping presence of danger was prevalent. He “Once again/Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs/which on a wild secluded scene impress/thoughts of a more deep seclusion; and connect/the landscape with the quiet of the sky.” The dangerous cliffs, that can bring death at the slightest misstep, provide a comforting environment and highlight the very essence of the sublime. 

           Every time Wordsworth comments on the pleasing aspect of nature, there is a paramount presence of the unknown and dangerous. He “[stands], not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts”, however “the sounding cataract haunted [him] like a passion: the tall rock, the mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood…”. No matter what beautiful aspect of nature he experiences, there is always the negative surrounding him. That “catch-22” is what intrigued me as the reader and provided the perfect example of the sublime. 

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2 thoughts on “The Sublime—Tara Moses

  1. Good identification of the sublime in “Tintern Abbey.” One point to develop, if you consider expanding on this in a paper, would be the apparent contrast between pleasant sensations and frightening ones. What does that dynamism do in terms of the poem’s meaning?

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