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Imagery in Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

Juxtaposition of Imagery: One of the main ways Wordsworth conveys nature’s capacity to uplift the human spirit is through the juxtaposition of imagery. City life, which Wordsworth and other Romantic poets often shunned, is characterized in negative terms such as “unintelligible” and “burthen.” Nature, in contrast, is assigned positive descriptors, such as when Wordsworth describes the effect of nature on the human spirit as a “blessed mood” which lightens and alleviates the burdens of civilization.

Imagery Examples in Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey:

Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798

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"murmur..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The first piece of imagery the speaker recognizes is the sound of the River Wye as it flows from the mountains through the valley, which he likens to a “murmur.” The noun “murmur” describes a soft, indistinct, and continuous sound or utterance. Here, Wordsworth creates an auditory image of the River Wye as a quiet, constant accompaniment to the visually stimulating scenery around him. This murmur echoes throughout the following lines as Wordsworth employs alliteration of the “s” sound (“steep,” “secluded scene,” “seclusions,” and “sky”), evoking a sense of whispering and murmuring.

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