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Title: Nature and place in the poems of William Wordsworth and Walter Scott
Author: Arabi Durkawi, Ayah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 6630
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis originates in the lack of studies comparing poetry by William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and Walter Scott (1771–1832). Living in the north of Britain, the two writers not only knew each other’s works, but also enjoyed a friendship spanning three decades. My study places together texts by the two writers which invite comparison and showcase their attitudes toward issues pertinent to their lives and society. A driving principle behind my thesis is the role nature and the poets’ native regions–the Lake District and the Scottish Borders–play in their poetry. With the exception of ‘Yarrow Revisited’ my project covers poems composed up to 1814. The Introduction compares the education and early writing of the two poets, outlines the thematic and theoretical concerns of the thesis, and gives brief accounts of relevant historical contexts. Four chapters explore Wordsworth’s and Scott’s approaches to the self, its representation and examination, and to society, its problems and inevitable evolution. The first considers Wordsworth’s The Prelude (1805) and ‘Tintern Abbey,’ and Scott’s Memoir and the epistles to Marmion. It traces the influence the two writers attribute to nature in their own development as revealed in their autobiographical writings. The second chapter tackles Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel, reading it as an invitation to society to look on the past for warnings and examples of how to best withstand today’s challenges. The third studies the social themes in Wordsworth’s The Excursion and ‘Michael,’ placing a particular emphasis on the portrayal of Grasmere as an ideal community. The fourth and final chapter brings the two men-of-letters together in a reading of Scott’s role, and that of the ballad tradition, in Wordsworth’s Yarrow poems. It is followed by a short Conclusion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Damascus University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available