Publication Date

5-23-2013

Advisor(s)

Stephanie Weiner

Major

English

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Throughout this study I examine how critical approaches to the imagination in Wordsworth's Prelude have changed over time, both in critics' areas of interests and in their methodologies, focusing on three schools: poststructuralism, historicism, and the most recent wave of criticism, as yet undefined as a particular school. In general, poststructuralists see the imagination as linked to language, and as represented through allegory, hyperbole, and other indirect forms of discourse; historicists view the imagination as connected to history, and particularly to the political turmoil of the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte; recent critics view the imagination from the perspective of many disciplines, and study less unified themes but share a desire to create unique analyses. Simultaneously, I examine how comparing scholars' approaches to the central issue of the imagination illuminate the different methodologies and concerns of the three different schools of criticism.

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