Tintern Abbey

Wordsworth’s poem is very good about incorporating all of the Romantic period Aesthetic ideas, those being the beautiful, sublime, and the picturesque — but Wordsworth especially seems to like to utilize the picturesque in his writing.  The Abbey represents a surprise found along the winding Wye River, and surprises are characteristic of the picturesque. Also, the abbey represents how time passes, and the way things are temporary is also characteristic of the picturesque. The reason that the picturesque might be more important to “Tintern Abbey” in particular, rather than either of the other two aesthetics,  is that in the first lines “five years have passed; five summers, with the length / of five long winters”, where the sense that there is a sense of something merely temporary there, as it is given the impression that the speaker returns to a place that they had been fond of at one point in time. It is again evident when Wordsworth writes, “Nor wilt thou then forget / That after many wanderings, many years / Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs, / . . . were to me / More dear”, in this case he would be trying to tell his sister although he’s been gone for a long time, nature was always significant in his absence. This theme relating to Nature definitely referred to the use of the Aesthetic of the Picturesque in the text. 


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