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Flashcards in Extract from The Prelude Deck (41):

When was the Romantic period?

Between the 1780s and the 1830s


Who is the poet?

William Wordsworth


When did the Wordsworth begin writing The Prelude?



When did the poem get published?

1850 - three months after Wordsworth's death


What is Romanticism?

An artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement which was characterised by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as its glorification of all the past and nature


What is the extract from The Prelude about?

The story of Wordsworth being at one with nature when he is out rowing his boat to then encounter a beast or something of similar likes and be made to realise that nature is something to be feared as well as appreciated


Why might the speaker refer to nature as "her"?

Because he believes in the term mother nature, which could suggest that the young boy feels as though nature is something that gives guidance and should be considered as an important being in one's life


How could you describe the mindset of the narrator between lines 1 and 16 of the extract from The Prelude?

He has a peaceful view of nature; he feels at one with it


Give two quotes to show that the narrator of the poem was having a peaceful journey before encountering a beast.

"Small circles glittering idly in the moon"


What could you say about the use of soporific words in the beginning of the poem?

It emphasises the beauty of nature to make the audience realise how peaceful it is and make them appreciate it more (as the Romantic writers wanted people to do)


Give examples of soporific words that the poet used.

"stars and the grey sky"


Complete the gaps:

"A ______ boat ____ to a ______ tree"

"A little boat tied to a willow tree"


What influenced Wordsworth when he was writing the poem?

The death of his daughter


What is The Prelude?

An epic autobiographical poem with 14 sections to it


How could Wordsworth's influence of the death of his daughter link to the story told in The Prelude?

The process of the speaker feeling peaceful in nature then becoming fearful of it could reflect how Wordsworth would have felt like his daughter was in a more peaceful place but he would then continue to be distraught about his loss


Complete the gaps:

"____ they ______ all into one ____
Of _________ light."

"Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light."


What themes (of questions) would be suitable for this poem?

Internal conflict
Man's relationship with the environment


Why is imagery so important throughout the poem?

Because it emphasises the emotion of the speakers story which was something that was widely encourage during the Romantic period


Complete the gaps:

"Upon the ______ of a ______ ridge,"

"Upon the summit of a craggy ridge,"


What could you say about the caesuras in the first half of the poem?

They could be reflective of how the narrator has to pause to absorb the beauty of nature


What could you say about the caesuras in the second half of the poem?

They could be reflective of the sudden fear felt by the narrator when he encounters the beastily like figure


What is a volta?

The turning point of a thought or argument in a poem


Give a quote that shows the volta in the poem.

" [...] till then
The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge,
Upreared its head."


What does Wordsworth mean when he says "She was an elfin pinnace"?

The boat he was rowing was small


Complete the gaps:

"... _______ the water ____ a ____;"

"... through the water like a swan;"


What feature is used in the volta of the poem?



Why did Wordsworth write this when he did?

It was a reaction to the industrial era because it shows him connecting with nature - something that didn't commonly happen then


What 18th century philosophy does the story of the poem link to and how?

The Sublime which was a philosophy that connected feelings of awe, fear and danger - all of which are felt throughout the extract


What is the importance of the soporific words that Wordsworth uses?

They contrast the harsh words after the volta


Give examples of harsh words that are used when the beast-like figure is being described.



Complete the gaps:

"It was an ___ of _______
And ________ pleasure,"

"It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure,"


What feature does this quote use and what is its effect?

"And trouble pleasure"

The two opposing words link to the opposing feelings of the Sublime


Why do you think Wordsworth personified the beast-like side of nature?

Because it amplified his fear and made the nature seem like a horrifying beast


What could you say to link the use of caesuras on both sides of the poem?

Each caesura reflects each other - the narrator feels in control in the first half of the poem whereas he feels like he is being controlled in the second half


How is pathetic fallacy used in the poem?

The soporific words reflect the tranquility whereas harsh words reflect the danger the narrator was in


Why is the poem written in blank verse?

Because it is an epic


Complete the gaps:

"And through the _______ homeward went, in _____
And _______ mood"

"And through the meadows homeward went, in grave
And serious mood"


Complete the gaps:

"were a _______ to my ______."

"were a trouble to my dreams."


Complete the gaps:

"I ______ and ______ again"

"I struck and struck again"


Complete the gaps:

"_______ up between me and the _____"

"Towered up between me and the stars"


Complete the gaps:

"With _________ oars I ______,
And through the ______ water _____ my way"

"With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way"