Depictions of the Literary Sublime Essay

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The representation of sublimity in William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” Percy Shelley’s “To a Sky-Lark,” and Gerald Hopkins “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” is characterized by the beauty and forms of nature, the power of nature, and the use of metaphors in descriptive passages. They use the sublime to express the grandeur of nature and to describe specific objects of nature. The writers also employ the sublime as a way to communicate their imagination and interpretations of nature to the readers. Wordsworth, Shelley, and Hopkins use the sublime in their literary works to interpret and express the aesthetics of nature. Wordsworth expresses the sublime beauty and forms of nature in “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by …show more content…
.The song of the sky-lark is a form of beauty because it is pure and natural, unlike artificial sounds. Shelley illustrates this subject matter when he writes the skylark “Pourest thy full heart /In profuse strains of unpremeditated art” (Shelley 4-5).
Hopkins expresses the sublime of the beauty and forms of nature in “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by envisioning kingfishers. His comparison of the kingfishers as pebbles tumbling down a well, “As tumbled over rim in roundy wells,” (Hopkins 2) notes the sublime of its beauty. This line restructures beautifully the impact of stones tossing down a well. The poem’s illustration of Hopkins’s idea of inscape depicts the kind of beauty that the poem can achieve about the sublime. Hopkins interprets the beauty of nature by implying that the kingfishers imitate everything that nature does, “Each mortal thing does one thing and the same” (Hopkins 5). Wordsworth, Shelley, and Hopkins focus on the power of nature to symbolize the sublime. While wandering through the natural environment, Wordsworth discovers the influence that nature has on his imagination in “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. Nature serves as a power that helps Wordsworth to find happiness even when he feels that he is alone, which is noted by the ending of the poem, “And then my heart with pleasure fills /And dances with the daffodils” (Wordsworth 23-24).

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