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Tennyson Echoing Wordsworth$
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Jayne Thomas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474436878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474436878.001.0001

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Tennyson’s ‘Tithonus’ and the Revision of Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’

Tennyson’s ‘Tithonus’ and the Revision of Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’

(p.163) Chapter 5 Tennyson’s ‘Tithonus’ and the Revision of Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’
Tennyson Echoing Wordsworth

Jayne Thomas

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the Wordsworthian echoes and borrowings in the 1860 dramatic monologue ‘Tithonus’, revealing ‘Tithonus’, and, in part the earlier ‘Tithon’ on which it is based, as a rewriting of the relationship between mind and nature, of the self reencountering itself in time, as it appears in Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’ (1798). In reworking Wordsworth’s interaction between mind and nature, ‘Tithonus’ is consolidating a new poetic alongside revising what has ostensibly become an outdated poetic trope. The revisions, in part, free Tennyson from the universal subjectivity of the lyric speaker, thereby strengthening the strategies of the monologue. Yet, Tennyson’s borrowings and echoes create effects that the poet cannot fully control, feeding, compromising, directing, and, ultimately, supporting the poem.

Keywords:   Tennyson, Wordsworth, ‘Tithonus’, ‘Tintern Abbey’, Mind and nature, Dramatic monologue, Lyrical subjectivity

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