Wordsworth's longing for the mothering ideal language

Varga Éva (2001) Wordsworth's longing for the mothering ideal language. MA/MSc, Szegedi Tudományegyetem.

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English Romantic poets were keenly conscious of the inescapably linguistic nature of all literature and the inadequacy of that medium. Wordsworthian texts indicate a perpetual effort to overcome that difficulty and communicate through a perfect language. Wordsworth shows a fascination not only with language but also with the motherfigure. The poet's deep attachment to his own mother and the loss of her leads to his desire for regaining the beloved one. The poet's efforts to possess the female characters and to conquer Mother Nature are all proofs of his longing for the maternal body. Wordsworth's attitude towards mothers will be interpreted through Freud's, Lacan's and Kristeva's theories on sexuality and through psychoanalytic studies on the poet. It is important to fathom Wordsworth's interest in the mother-figure since his linguistic ideal is endowed with maternal characteristics. That perfect medium is closely connected with matter, nature and passions. Feminist theories claim that these features are essentially subscribed to women. In that way Wordsworth's longing for ideal language is a symbolic, disguised desire for the possession of maternal body. However, Wordsworth's quest for the maternal body . proves to end up in a failure. Neither the mother characters in his poems nor Mother Nature can be possessed. Wordsworth's love for the mother is not realizable. This recognition entails the impossibility of having a perfect language. Wordsworth recognizes the „sad incompetence of human speech" in his prose and poetry. His tendency to add new and new pieces of explanation to the body of his texts implicitly reveals his discontent with language. Wordsworth's theories on language and his attitude towards mother characters will be demonstrated with his prose writings, the autobiographical The Prelude and some relevant poems of the Lyrical Ballads.


Szegedi Tudományegyetem


Gyula Juhász Teacher Training College


Angol Tanszék


Teacher Training




SupervisorSupervisor scientific name labelEmailEHA

Item Type: Thesis (MA/MSc)
Date: 2001
Depositing User: JGYPK Szerkesztő
Date Deposited: 2019. May. 30. 13:20
Last Modified: 2019. Jun. 03. 11:48
URI: http://diploma.bibl.u-szeged.hu/id/eprint/76690

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