New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing the poem 'Extract from The Prelude'

I can analyse the use of literary methods to create meaning in ‘Extract from The Prelude’.

New
New
Year 10
Eduqas

Analysing the poem 'Extract from The Prelude'

I can analyse the use of literary methods to create meaning in ‘Extract from The Prelude’.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Initially, Wordsworth presents himself as a hero, later nature is presented as an extraordinary presence.
  2. Imagery of man’s arrogant efforts to dominate nature are repeated across the poem, warning of his inferiority to nature.
  3. Pretty aural and visual imagery early in the poem contrasts with cacophony after the volta.
  4. The monosyllabic description of the mountain shows how nature transcends the world of man.
  5. The poem explores both power and conflict: man's conflict with himself after learning the true power of nature.

Common misconception

The use of the epic form is just to show Wordsworth's adventure.

The use of epic form may suggest how nature is a heroic or legendary presence worthy of the epic poem form.

Keywords

  • Epic Poetry - a long poem narrating the deeds of legendary or heroic figures

  • Cacophony - a harsh discordant mixture of sounds

  • Volta - sudden shift in emotion

  • Awe - a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder

  • Monosyllabic - consisting of one syllable

Have students read the poem aloud to explore how a shift in tone occurs after volta.
Teacher tip

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
What type of poem is 'Extract from The Prelude'?
biographical
Correct answer: autobiographical
fictional
Q2.
How does Wordsworth show his naivety in the line from 'Extract from the Prelude': ''I fixed my view upon the summit of a craggy ridge, the horizon's utmost boundary''?
he is scared of a small mountain
Correct answer: he believes a small cliff is the highest point of nature
he thinks he can row without being restricted by the craggy ridge
Q3.
What marks the volta of 'Extract from The Prelude'?
Wordsworth sees a weak animal in the water
Wordsworth nearly drowns
Correct answer: Wordsworth sees a huge mountain peak
Q4.
How does Wordsworth view nature after the volta of 'Extract from The Prelude'?
tranquil
Correct answer: dominant
beautiful
Q5.
Which quote best illustrates Wordsworth's reflection on experiencing the sublime?
Correct answer: ''Huge and mighty forms that do not live like living men''
''no colours of green fields''
''with trembling oars I turned''
Q6.
''But huge and mighty forms, that do not live like living men, moved...through the mind by day, and were a trouble to my dreams.'' Why might Wordsworth have been ''troubled'' by his experience?
He believed nature was going to hurt him
Correct answer: It was an uncomfortable existential thought that nature was superior to man
He did not know how to tell his family about what he had seen

6 Questions

Q1.
Which type of poem is 'Extract from The Prelude'?
sonnet
dramatic monologue
Correct answer: epic poem
Q2.
What technique is used in the quote from 'Extract from The Prelude': ''small circles glittering idly in the moon, until they melted all into one track of sparkling light''?
onomatopoeia
repetition of monosyllabic words
Correct answer: imagery
Q3.
Before the volta in 'Extract from The Prelude', how does Wordsworth describe nature?
Correct answer: tranquil
Correct answer: magical
dominant
powerful
Correct answer: subdued
Q4.
After the volta in 'Extract from The Prelude', how is Wordsworth changed?
He worships nature
Correct answer: He is humbled by his existential epiphany about nature's power
He realises he is not a good rower
Q5.
Why does Wordsworth use monosyllabic words after seeing the mountain peak in 'Extract from The Prelude'? Choose the most sophisticated interpretation.
Correct answer: it shows his inability to articulate the sheer power of nature
it shows he was tired
it shows he was scared
Q6.
Which technique does this line from 'Extract from The Prelude' use and what does it show? ''...of sea or sky, no colours of green fields; but huge and mighty forms''?
Assonance to show the harmony of nature
repetition to show confusion about his own position in the world
Correct answer: cacophony to show discord between Wordsworth and his relationship with nature