855 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2016
    1. epitaph

      According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), the word "epitaph" is described as "the inscription upon a tombstone." Browning's use of the word here implies the speakers' conceptualization at the words used to describe his life post imaginary death.

    2. Childe

      Browning spells the word "child" here as "childe" intentionally. The word "childe", spelled with the added "e", derives from Old English and literally translates to "young lord."Additionally, this specific spelling refers to a common spelling dominant in the Medieval Ages distinguishing the son of a nobleman who had yet to obtain knighthood. This is a key point of reference, playing an important role for interpreting some of the poems later, more mysterious themes.

    1. Surrey

      Britannica Academic writes that this is an "administrative and historic county of southeastern England. It is situated just southwest of London, adjoining the River Thames. Surrey is bordered to the northwest by Berkshire, to the northeast by the Greater London conurbation, to the east by Kent, to the south by Sussex, and to the west by Hampshire."

    2. Leatherhead

      The Oxford Reference states that Leatherhead is an "old town on the A24 and A245."

    3. dog-cart

      According to the OED, this is "a small cart drawn by a dog or dogs."

    1. I have hired a vessel and am occupied in collecting my sailors

      The word choice of "collecting" sailors is reminiscent of Victor's "collecting" of parts to create his creature.

    2. And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury, but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path.

      Walton believes that he deserves to achieve his goals of finding the northern passage. He feels as though he has worked hard and put aside "ease and luxury" and that he deserves success. Although he may have put in the hard work, that does not guarantee his success. This feels similar to Victor believing that he had put in the hard work throughout his studies and he should be able to create life and achieve success. Both of these two characters have ambitious goals and are unable to carry them out.

    3. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole

      The almost mythological treatment of the sea-route Walton seeks substantiates his sister's worries. In the time that Frankenstein is set, the fact that it remains undiscovered despite recorded attempts which Walton read in his youth mean that this journey might be seen as a fool's quest.

    4. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am alone.

      More references to Christianity. Above all, the creature fears isolation, where even in hell the damned suffer enmasse.

    5. Once I falsely hoped to meet with beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding.

      The creature's sentiments parallel Walton's inability to find a friend.

    6. During these last days I have been occupied in examining my past conduct; nor do I find it blamable. In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bound towards him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being.

      Frankenstein recognizes the responsibility he held towards his creature.

    7. I hesitated before I answered, when Frankenstein, who had at first been silent, and indeed appeared hardly to have force enough to attend, now roused himself; his eyes sparkled, and his cheeks flushed with momentary vigour. Turning towards the men, he said, "What do you mean? What do you demand of your captain? Are you, then, so easily turned from your design? Did you not call this a glorious expedition?

      Despite his own ruin, Frankenstein still urges others to take his perilous journey.

    8. Even where the affections are not strongly moved by any superior excellence, the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. They know our infantine dispositions, which, however they may be afterwards modified, are never eradicated; and they can judge of our actions with more certain conclusions as to the integrity of our motives. A sister or a brother can never, unless indeed such symptoms have been shown early, suspect the other of fraud or false dealing, when another friend, however strongly he may be attached, may, in spite of himself, be contemplated with suspicion.

      This mention of how important family is recalls that Walton is writing these letters to his own sister.

    9. like the archangel who aspired to omnipotence, I am chained in an eternal hell.

      Archangel is also the name of the place where Walton disembarked. Further, this is likely a reference to Lucifer as depicted in Milton's Paradise Lost, a known influence on Shelley's work.

    10. He seems to feel his own worth and the greatness of his fall.

      The mention of a fall alongside earlier references to Christianity make this another likely reference to man's fall.

    11. Sometimes I endeavoured to gain from Frankenstein the particulars of his creature's formation, but on this point he was impenetrable. "Are you mad, my friend?" said he. "Or whither does your senseless curiosity lead you?

      Despite full knowledge of where this kind of information can cause, Walton's curiosity causes him to seek it out.

    12. You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been.

      The mention of knowledge and serpents is likely a reference to the story of man's fall.

    13. I spoke of my desire of finding a friend, of my thirst for a more intimate sympathy with a fellow mind than had ever fallen to my lot, and expressed my conviction that a man could boast of little happiness who did not enjoy this blessing. "I agree with you," replied the stranger; "we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves—such a friend ought to be—do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.

      This is another comment on the social nature of humans. Both Walton and Frankenstein agree that people need companionship to exist.

    14. One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race. As I spoke, a dark gloom spread over my listener's countenance.

      Because Frankenstein understands Walton's motivation, the parallels between their journeys bring back the grief that he endured all this time.

    15. He entered attentively into all my arguments in favour of my eventual success and into every minute detail of the measures I had taken to secure it.

      Frankenstein is able to connect with Walton on the nature of his ambition.

    16. I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally an expression of wildness, and even madness, but there are moments when, if anyone performs an act of kindness towards him or does him any the most trifling service, his whole countenance is lighted up, as it were

      Frankenstein's behavior expresses all of Walton's previously alluded values: life that borders on wildness while still showing a sensitivity to empathy and kindness.

    17. This letter will reach England by a merchantman now on its homeward voyage from Archangel

      The place that Walton disembarks from, Archangel, is named after an angel.

    18. There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious—painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour—but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous, intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore.

      Walton's drive mirrors that of Frankenstein's in that they both seek something invisible in the shrouds of what could potentially be amazing or terrible or both at the same time.

    19. A youth passed in solitude, my best years spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, has so refined the groundwork of my character that I cannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutality exercised on board ship

      Walton attributes some of his incompatibilities with the crew to feminine influences, although he doesn't seem to regret it.

    20. He is an Englishman, and in the midst of national and professional prejudices, unsoftened by cultivation, retains some of the noblest endowments of humanity.

      Walton values nobility and humanity.

    21. But it is a still greater evil to me that I am self-educated: for the first fourteen years of my life I ran wild on a common and read nothing but our Uncle Thomas' books of voyages. At that age I became acquainted with the celebrated poets of our own country; but it was only when it had ceased to be in my power to derive its most important benefits from such a conviction that I perceived the necessity of becoming acquainted with more languages than that of my native country. Now I am twenty-eight and am in reality more illiterate than many schoolboys of fifteen.

      Walton's self-education and alienation from society mirror the creature's experiences. Both learned of the world through text and are at-odds when it comes to social interaction.

    22. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend.

      Frankenstein is commonly classified as a romantic piece, so it makes sense that we experience the story through the lens of someone who shares these sentiments.

    23. But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection.

      Walton's fear of loneliness echoes sentiments later expressed by Frankenstein's creature. Whether he encounters success or failure, the absence of a companion to share those moments with fills him with grief.

    24. I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St. Petersburgh and Archangel

      Both St. Petersburgh and Archangel are cities named with reference to figures in Christianity.

    25. Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in a Greenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration.

      Although Walton's words are steeped in emotional attachment, this line proves that he has taken logical steps towards his goals.

    26. you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind, to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

      This passage clarifies Walton's motivations. His goals are not purely self-motivated as he references, "the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind." Further, by bringing up future generations, he make the implication that any success he experiences here would have a lasting effect.

    27. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember that a history of all the voyages made for purposes of discovery composed the whole of our good Uncle Thomas' library. My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. These volumes were my study day and night,

      Walton's only knowledge of these voyages come from reading. This is similar to Victor who learned about alchemy from studying books on his own. It seems that these two have a lot in common in the ways that they learn and the way that they occupy their time. Walton has read about people trying to find the northern passage and this is what convinces him that he can take this journey, which ultimately puts him and his crew at risk. Victor reads about alchemy on his own and gets the idea that he can create life, which puts him and his family at risk.

    28. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is forever visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon and diffusing a perpetual splendour

      It appears that Walton has been warned that the journey to find the northern passage will be treacherous and he has been told that the pole is"the seat of frost and desolation," but Walton holds on hope that there will be "beauty and delight." The sun is "forever visible" because there is 24-hour sunlight during a couple of weeks in December in Antarctica. Walton wants his journey to be successful and chooses not to listen to the warnings of how treacherous it will be. This is similar to Victor not listening to his professors about the dangers of studying alchemy. If Victor had listened, maybe he wouldn't have tried to create life. Similarly, if Walton had listened to the warnings of how dangerous his trip would be, he wouldn't have put his crew in danger. But then we wouldn't have Victor's story because Walton wouldn't be there to rescue him from the water.

    29. These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose

      Walton finds relief in his journey because he has a "steady purpose." This seems similar to Victor's purpose in studying alchemy and going to school and creating life. Victor finds "peace" in his study as he keeps his mind busy. It is not until he actual gives the creature life that he sees how it was a mistake. Similarly, Walton believes that his journey will be successful and he is at peace as long as he is working on finding the passage. It is not until his men grow weak and tired that he decides to give up for them. Walton's framing helps to explain what Victor goes through later in the novel.


      This phrase seems to appear quite often. Perhaps it is an omen.

    31. The magistrate observed me with a keen eye and of course drew an unfavourable augury from my manner.

      The civil officer becomes a little suspicious of Victor's odd behavior and takes him to view Clerval's body. This is a technique done by criminal investigators. The magistrate became suspicious of Victor's behavior and most likely deemed him as a probable suspect. When taking a suspect into the room with the deceased victim they take careful note of the suspect's body language, facial expression, and overall reaction upon seeing the body. The observation of said suspect will give more insight to the investigator. For instance, if the suspect were to have a cool, calm, collected persona the suspect would be questioned further and most likely held in prison. This technique is rarely used today.

    32. The son confirmed his father's account, but when Daniel Nugent was called he swore positively that just before the fall of his companion, he saw a boat, with a single man in it, at a short distance from the shore; and as far as he could judge by the light of a few stars, it was the same boat in which I had just landed. A woman deposed that she lived near the beach and was standing at the door of her cottage, waiting for the return of the fishermen, about an hour before she heard of the discovery of the body, when she saw a boat with only one man in it push off from that part of the shore where the corpse was afterwards found.

      As we continue to read, we can confirm that the creature's wrath has stuck again! Eye witnesses have reported seeing a single man near the scene of the crime in a boat.

    33. The first part of this deposition did not in the least interest me, but when the mark of the fingers was mentioned I remembered the murder of my brother and felt myself extremely agitated;

      We know from previous chapters that the creature's method of murder is death by strangulation. It may be safe to say that the creature is responsible for yet again, another murder. Here, Victor cannot help but think it was his creation that took his beloved friend's life.

    34. He had apparently been strangled, for there was no sign of any violence except the black mark of fingers on his neck.

      A group of guys went fishing. The weather became unsuitable for such sport and it was nearly pitch black so, they decided to head for town. They arrived at a creek. As the men were walking off the boat and onto the sand one of them tripped over Clerval's body. He was clearly dead. The men thought that perhaps the waves carried his lifeless body to the shore however, his clothes weren't wet and his body was warm. They soon noticed the black finger marks around his neck. They concluded that he was strangled to death.

    35. I was soon introduced into the presence of the magistrate, an old benevolent man with calm and mild manners

      According to Oxford dictionary a magistrate is a civil officer who administers the law, especially one who conducts a court that deals with minor offences and holds preliminary hearings for more serious ones.

    36. "The murderer discovered!

      Switzerland criminal laws and sentencing practices were influenced by French and German legal traditions. The very first approximation of a criminal code was written in 1799. This criminal code was inspired by the Frenchs' criminal code that was written in 1791.

      Source: Crime and Punishment Around the World

    37. But she will be tried today, and you will then hear all

      In the case of a criminal act "tried" means that Justine will be examined or the case will be investigated judicially. In other words, there will be conduct of a trial.

    38. And on the morrow Justine died.

      Capital punishment (legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime) was abolished from federal criminal law in Switzerland in 1942. However, in the early 1700's most countries were still busy executing witches and killing males by decapitation with a sword. Other ways of killing the criminals were drowning, burning, beheading, and lynching them. Some were brutally killed by being smashed by an iron bar. Justine could've been executed by any of the ways listed above.

      Source: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/crime-and-punishment_killing-off-the-death-penalty-in-switzerland/41732660

    39. "I did confess, but I confessed a lie. I confessed, that I might obtain absolution; but now that falsehood lies heavier at my heart than all my other sins. The God of heaven forgive me! Ever since I was condemned, my confessor has besieged me; he threatened and menaced, until I almost began to think that I was the monster that he said I was. He threatened excommunication and hell fire in my last moments if I continued obdurate. Dear lady, I had none to support me; all looked on me as a wretch doomed to ignominy and perdition. What could I do? In an evil hour I subscribed to a lie; and now only am I truly miserable."

      Justine confessed a lie. The catholic priest in confession pressured into it telling her she was going to go to hell if she did not confess to the crime.

    40. "My cousin," replied I, "it is decided as you may have expected; all judges had rather that ten innocent should suffer than that one guilty should escape. But she has confessed."

      Justine confessed to the murder she DID NOT commit! Why? Out of her fear of going to hell.

    41. she had passed the evening of the night on which the murder had been committed at the house of an aunt at Chene, a village situated at about a league from Geneva. On her return, at about nine o'clock, she met a man who asked her if she had seen anything of the child who was lost. She was alarmed by this account and passed several hours in looking for him, when the gates of Geneva were shut, and she was forced to remain several hours of the night in a barn belonging to a cottage, being unwilling to call up the inhabitants, to whom she was well known.

      The evening William was murdered Justine was in Chene (about three miles from Geneva), spending time with her aunt.When she was on her way home a man stopped and asked her if she had seen a child who was lost. Justine was alarmed by this and decided to go look for the lost boy. She spent so much time searching for him the gates of Geneva shut and she was forced to stay the night in a barn and she was not able to call anyone she knew.

    42. "God knows," she said, "how entirely I am innocent. But I do not pretend that my protestations should acquit me; I rest my innocence on a plain and simple explanation of the facts which have been adduced against me, and I hope the character I have always borne will incline my judges to a favourable interpretation where any circumstance appears doubtful or suspicious."

      Justine: "I'm innocent and God knows it. I am not going to pretend that the accusations made against me should free me; I place my innocence on the plain and simple facts that I have explained. I hope that you keep in mind my good character whenever doubt or suspicion appears."

    43. She had been out the whole of the night on which the murder had been committed and towards morning had been perceived by a market-woman not far from the spot where the body of the murdered child had been afterwards found. The woman asked her what she did there, but she looked very strangely and only returned a confused and unintelligible answer

      Justine was out the entire night that William was murdered, which doesn't help her claim of innocence. Justine was near the the area where the crime took place. When a woman approached Justine asking her what she was doing there Justine gave an odd look and replied with an answer that was hard to understand. UGH..it is not looking good.

    44. During this interval, one of the servants, happening to examine the apparel she had worn on the night of the murder, had discovered in her pocket the picture of my mother, which had been judged to be the temptation of the murderer. The servant instantly showed it to one of the others, who, without saying a word to any of the family, went to a magistrate; and, upon their deposition, Justine was apprehended.

      Justine was sick the morning of William's death. During that time, a servant was going through her clothes and he found the valuable picture of Victor's mother in her pocket (the picture that was certainly the reason behind the murder). Justine was arrested after the officer had been notified of the discovery.

    45. "Justine Moritz! Poor, poor girl, is she the accused? But it is wrongfully; every one knows that; no one believes it, surely, Ernest?"

      Justine was mentioned earlier in the book. Justine was one of four children. After the death of Justin's father, Justine's mother "treated her very ill." Due to her mother's unkind treatment Justine moved to live with Elizabeth's aunt. According to Elizabeth Justine is beautiful, grateful, smart, and gentle. So, it is very hard to believe she killed William.

    46. As I said these words, I perceived in the gloom a figure which stole from behind a clump of trees near me; I stood fixed, gazing intently: I could not be mistaken. A flash of lightning illuminated the object, and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy daemon, to whom I had given life. What did he there? Could he be (I shuddered at the conception) the murderer of my brother? No sooner did that idea cross my imagination, than I became convinced of its truth; my teeth chattered, and I was forced to lean against a tree for support. The figure passed me quickly, and I lost it in the gloom.

      Victor sees his creation creeping behind the trees. Not much longer after his eyes land upon the creature's gigantic stature, he knows that the "daemon" is responsible for William's death.

    47. 'O God! I have murdered my darling child!'

      Elizabeth did not actually kill William. Here, she is merely blaming herself for his death.

    48. This picture is gone, and was doubtless the temptation which urged the murderer to the deed. We have no trace of him at present, although our exertions to discover him are unremitted; but they will not restore my beloved William!

      The valuable picture was gone! They believe that it was certainty the reason behind the murder of young William. They currently have no idea who the murderer is however, they are relentless in their search.

    49. She told me, that that same evening William had teased her to let him wear a very valuable miniature that she possessed of your mother.

      The night William died, he tried to provoke Elizabeth into allowing him to wear a very valuable picture that was once Victor's mother's.

    50. About five in the morning I discovered my lovely boy, whom the night before I had seen blooming and active in health, stretched on the grass livid and motionless; the print of the murder's finger was on his neck.

      Victor's father found his son dead. There were marks around William's neck indicating that he was strangled to death.

    51. "Last Thursday (May 7th), I, my niece, and your two brothers, went to walk in Plainpalais. The evening was warm and serene, and we prolonged our walk farther than usual. It was already dusk before we thought of returning; and then we discovered that William and Ernest, who had gone on before, were not to be found. We accordingly rested on a seat until they should return. Presently Ernest came, and enquired if we had seen his brother; he said, that he had been playing with him, that William had run away to hide himself, and that he vainly sought for him, and afterwards waited for a long time, but that he did not return.

      Plainpalais is a huge open space that is known for hosting flea markets and farmer's markets in Geneva. So, Victor's father, Victor's two brothers, and Victor's future wife were walking around there. It was in the evening and it the weather was warm. Earnest and William went off on there own playing hide-and-seek. They were gone for a pretty long time. Ernest returned to his father and explained that despite his efforts, he could not find William.

    52. So strange an accident has happened to us that I cannot forbear recording it, although it is very probable that you will see me before these papers can come into your possession.

      There was an accident but he cannot write it down, but he will tell her because there is a very good chance that he will be turning around and coming home.

    53. I write a few lines in haste to say that I am safe—and well advanced on my voyage. This letter will reach England by a merchantman now on its homeward voyage from Archangel; more fortunate than I, who may not see my native land, perhaps, for many years. I am, however, in good spirits: my men are bold and apparently firm of purpose, nor do the floating sheets of ice that continually pass us, indicating the dangers of the region towards which we are advancing, appear to dismay them

      Again, Walton is writing his sister to let it be known that he is safe on his journey. He mentions that he may not be able to go back home for a while. However, he will remain in good spirits. It helps that his crewmen are bold and brave. The floating sheets of ice that indicate danger don't even seem to even phase them.

    54. hitherto

      According to the Oxford dictionary, this word means until now or until this point in time.

    55. I cannot describe to you my sensations on the near prospect of my undertaking. It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions, to "the land of mist and snow," but I shall kill no albatross; therefore do not be alarmed for my safety or if I should come back to you as worn and woeful as the "Ancient Mariner."

      Walton finds it difficult to describe the feelings he is experiencing while on his journey. He is fearful but very excited. He makes a reference to the poem by Coleridge titled 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' Walton says he will be exploring land, like the Mariner in Coleridge's poem, but he will not be killing an albatross (unlike the Mariner).

    56. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my daydreams become more fervent and vivid

      Walton is asking his sister if she knows how it feels to feel the cold breeze coming from the north. He is describing it as very delightful. The breeze that he feels upon his cheeks comes from the place he is traveling toward. The winds are a preview of the icy regions and he beings to daydream about them more vividly.

    57. You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.

      Walton is writing to his sister. He is informing her that there has not been any natural catastrophe during the start of his endeavor. His sister was fearful that there would be. Walton arrived at his destination yesterday and the first thing he wanted to do was let her know that he was okay and that he has confidence that he will be successful in his journey on discovery.

    1. Wordsworth informs us he was nineteen years

      Shelley references the 19 years it took for Wordsworth to complete his poem Peter Bell. Wordsworth wrote the poem in 1798, but didn't published it until 1819. He spent those years "considering and retouching" the poem with "slow, dull care". He seems to criticize Wordsworth for this, in order to justify the short amount of time it took Shelley to write this poem. In line 36, Shelley writes " but [My Witch] matches Peter, Though he took nineteen years, and she three days In dressing". He wants to equate his poem with Wordsworth, through his equating the main characters of the two. My likening his poem to one that took longer to perfect, Shelley is eliminating the criticism of his poem because of the haste in which he wrote it.

    2. The magic circle of her voice and eyes All savage natures did imparadise.

      Baker, further connect Spenser's Una and Shelley's Witch by describing the characters similar connection with animals: "Over savage beasts Una and the Witch of Atlas are able to exert a mollifying influence" (Baker 473). Una is described to have tamed a lion simply through her gentle presence and through "sanguine beasts her gentle looks made tame" (473). This matches closely Shelley's description of the Witch's relationship with animals, saying her voice and eyes made the leopard as "gentle as the dove" (line 102). Both characters have a control over threatening animals, both through their eyes. This is another example of the influence of Spenser on Shelley.

    3. A lovely lady garmented in light From her own beauty -- deep her eyes, as are Two openings of unfathomable night

      According to Carlos Baker and David Lee Clark, scholars writing for the Modern Language Association, two literary influences of Shelley's were Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene and John Milton's L'Allegro. The opening lines (49-56) mirror closely the opening lines of Milton's work. Shelley's description in this stanza of the Witch mirror closely the description of Una by Spenser: "Una is circummured by an aura" (Baker 473). Both are described as being created and encompassed by light. This influence in character description is obvious here in the similarity.

    4. my dear Mary

      The "Mary" that Percy Shelley is referring to is his wife and author Mary Shelley. She is most well known for her novel Frankenstein, but published many other books before her death in 1851.

      Mary was the daughter of philosopher and political writer William Godwin and famed feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, but received no formal education. She taught herself mostly through her fathers library and the visits to her father from famous poets of the time, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Mary published her first poem in 1807.

      Mary and Percy were married in 1816, two years before she published Frankenstein and 8 years before this poem was published. The dedication of this poem (To Mary (On Her Objecting to the Following Poem, Upon the Score of its Containing No Human Interest) indicates the close literary relationship the two had and the importance of each's opinion. Mary Shelley even edited the first edition this poem.

      The rest of this passage seems to indicate that Percy disagrees with Mary's opinion that the poem "tell[s] no story", and even asks her to "this one time" accept the poem as simply a "visionary rhyme" and asks her to be content with that.

    5. The Witch of Atlas

      A notable, and beautiful, rendition of the Witch from this poem was created by the British artist Robert Fowler. While Fowler wasn't born until 1853, more than 25 years after the poem was published, his interpretation and depiction of the Witch are haunting.<br> The painting, created in 1900, is entitled "The Witch of Atlas".

    1. Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,        55 Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

      Statement that he can tame the duchess' wild behavior.

    2. Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed At starting, is my object.

      The narrator is a suitor looking for the maiden's hand in marriage.

    3. This grew; I gave commands;        45 Then all smiles stopped together.

      Makes it seem as if he killed her, either by commissioning someone to do so or by giving her commands to stop her undesirable behavior.

    4. I choose Never to stoop

      Makes it seem like it would be below him to tell her that her behavior is unacceptable and undesirable.

    5. “Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark”

      The narrator disapproves of the duchess' behavior but has no way of politely telling her.

    6. I know not how

      Shows a sense that the narrator never received the kind of favors from the duchess that she paid to other suitors.

    7. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody’s gift.

      Again a reference to the duchess' scandalous behavior.

    8. she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.

      Browning basically calls the Duchess a whore in the nicest way possible.

    9. “Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat:”

      Could very well be a reference to how the medium of art does not do justice to describe a person's form. Playing off of Coleridge's idea that he strived through his words to paint a picture.

    10. Frà Pandolf’s

      There is no evidence that Fra Pandolf was a real painter who painted the duchess according to Victorianweb.org.

      “I said Frà Pandolf by Design”: Browning's “My Last Duchess”. (2011, November). Retrieved November 21, 2016, from http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/rb/duchess/monteiro5.html

    11. wonder

      The Oxford English Dictionary describes the word wonder as being "A marvellous object; a marvel, prodigy."

    1. “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees!” He was so fluttered and so glowing with his good intentions, that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears.

      Scrooge's very first words of the final stave show the transition from ominous to upbeat and positive. He had never thought he could have such a joyous spirit until after his ghostly visits. The last stave has Scrooge revisit everyone since before the he saw the ghosts. He now shares the Christmas spirit with them all, circling back to Dickens's point of true moral Christmas spirit.

    2. “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

      The Ghost of Christmas future represents the fear of death as it appears to be the shadowy figure of a reaper. After being shown a horrid future ending in an early death, Scrooge makes his final pleas promising that he will relive the past, present, and future honoring Christmas in his heart. He has learned his lesson and remembers Marley's fate, hoping not to share the same.

    3. “Have they no refuge or resource?” cried Scrooge. “Are there no prisons?” said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. “Are there no workhouses?”

      Dickens exhibits more irony to the reader, showing how Scrooge is now biting the words he once spoke. That concern he expresses for ignorance and want shows he has a better understanding of the toils that the lower class face.

    4. “I’m sure he is very rich, Fred,” hinted Scrooge’s niece. “At least you always tell me so.” “What of that, my dear!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “His wealth is of no use to him. He don’t do any good with it. He don’t make himself comfortable with it. He hasn’t the satisfaction of thinking—ha, ha, ha!—that he is ever going to benefit US with it.”

      This passage shows further importance of how all the lavis luxuries and merriment are useless if not shared with others around you.

    5. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see; who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty’s horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door.

      The Ghost of Christmas Present represents giving, good intent and celebration, while the pile of food it sits upon symbolizes feasting and merriment. By bringing Scrooge to various houses for Christmas dinner, it shows the empathy that Scrooge can gain, feeling the toil that the lower class families like the Cratchits felt. Dickens displays the Cratchit family as face for the lower class, showing that they are to be valued as individual human beings that do matter to society.

    6. “It isn’t that,” said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. “It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count ’em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

      Dickens uses the Christmas party scene at Fezziwig's to exhibit moral standards of Christmas spirit. Throwing lavish parties and enjoying luxuries is not immoral. It is when the desire for such material luxuries keeps one from sharing ones self with others, as we see when Belle breaks off her engagement to Scrooge because he became consumed with greed for wealth and grew cold.

    7. “Nephew!” returned the uncle, sternly, “keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.” “Keep it!” repeated Scrooge’s nephew. “But you don’t keep it.” “Let me leave it alone, then,” said Scrooge. “Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!” “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound 11 on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

      Dickens uses characters to represent certain themes and ideas throughout the text. For example, he portrays Scrooge as everything that goes against the Christmas spirit, while Fred is a reminder to Scrooge and the reader of the joy and cheerfulness that Christmas brings.

    8. “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge. “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again. “And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?” “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.” “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge. “Both very busy, sir.” “Oh! 13 I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.” “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices.

      Dickens aims at the Poor Laws, exposing how unfair the government system is to the underclass, leaving them to a life of either debtor's prison or working in union houses. Dicken's also dismisses Scrooge's defense for such establishments, since Scrooge uses his charity towards them as an excuse.

    9. the light upon its head burnt very clear.

      Referring back to the light from the ghost's head, the reader gets a sense that it burned so bright because the power of Scrooge's mind was at work, fully committed to scene and all the joy everyone at the ball expressed.

    10. It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions.

      The Ghost of Christmas Past's childlike figure symbolizes memory. Its transition in shape to appear older, shows how memory is a connection of the stages in ones life, for the ghost never maintains the same shape. The light represents the luminous power of the mind and the cap refers to the buildup passions within Scrooge that could keep such light from being shared among others. As the ghost takes Scrooge back to past Christmases, we see that the young Scrooge was filled with love and care, which lessened as he grew older and became overtaken with greed and desire for wealth. The memories connect Scrooge with his emotions and starts to breakdown his cold, hard persona.

    11. He tried to say “Humbug!” but stopped at the first syllable.

      According to the oxford English dictionary, humbug describes that which is deceptive or false talk or behavior. The mere fact that Scrooge cannot manage to say this second syllable very well shows the great affect of Marley's message. Scrooge is shown to be pondering the thought of Marley's toil and how he himself may share the same fate if he does not learn his lesson from the visits soon to come. Therefore, with the virtuous nature of this warning, the reader can perceive a possible change in Scrooge for the better.

    12. “But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.

      Another example of foreshadowing, given by the portly gentlemen. Scrooge denies knowing that many can't go to the Poor Law establishments or that they would rather die. The gentlemen, saying he might know, provide the reader with an assumption that soon Scrooge will come to see that what they say is true.

    13. At the ominous word “liberality,” Scrooge frowned, and shook his head, and handed the credentials back.

      According to the oxford English dictionary "liberality" means the quality of giving or spending freely. This refers to Scrooge and Marley being thought to have been generous owners of the accounting office, willing to spare contributions for the poor. Men in such positions were expected to live with a certain liberality. Ominous means the worrying impression of something bad to come. Together these key words portray the irony of how Scrooge is vs how he was assumed to be by the two portly gentlemen. These words also foreshadow the terrifying visits Scrooge later receives, partly due to his lack of liberality.

    1. Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he bears a laden breast, Full of sad experience, moving toward the stillness of his rest.

      The repetition of both stanzas is definitely worth noting. Also, the speaker believes that wisdom sadly carries his experience and memories, and works toward not having to live with these things.

    2. Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and I linger on the shore, And the individual withers, and the world is more and more

      The speaker juxtaposes himself with wisdom, which is acquired only through experience. As the individual himself fades, he connects with the world more and more--only through the experience he gained and lessons he has learned.

    3. From the nations’ airy navies grappling in the central blue

      Here comes the nation reference, again. The speaker emphasizes the importance of war within nations, how they hold onto their navies.

    4. argosies of magic sails

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an argosy is "a merchant-vessel of the largest size and burn, especially those of Ragusa and Venice." In this Vision of the World, these massive ships have magical sails.

    5. guinea

      According to the oxford-English dictionary, this most likely refers to the Guinea of Africa, which is the West Coast. Although there were a few definitions for this, I noticed his later inclusion of the word "nations."

    6. “They were dangerous guides the feelings—she herself was not exempt—        95 Truly, she herself had suffer’d”—Perish in thy self-contempt

      As either someone--or the woman herself--sympathizes with Amy, the speaker disregards all of this and feels no compassion for her. He doesn't believe that she, too, went through pain, and tells the person to stop self-loathing.

    7. With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a daughter’s heart

      "A little hoard of maxims" seems to mean a collection of self-evident propositions solved in mathematical reasons. Perhaps this stanza means that she thought with her brain and not her heart, and soon she will find her petty self troubled because she is unhappy and chose the wrong decision.

    8. vex

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to "vex" is to cause trouble or to harass. The speaker wants his cousin Amy to feel bad about her decision.

    9. dog

      This is a recurring symbol throughout the piece. Whenever the speaker compares the depth of the lord's love, he uses a dog in his example. Dogs represent faith, loyalty, and fidelity.

    10. Comfort? comfort scorn’d of devils! this is truth the poet sings,        75 That a sorrow’s crown of sorrow is remembering happier things.

      The speaker seems to have a lot of resentment towards memories, since he curses the act of recall and remember. Here, he says that sorrow's crown, or its garment, is the act of remembering happier things and the comparison to the past. There is a constant disconnect and longing between the past and present.

    11. Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the love she bore? No—she never loved me truly: love is love for evermore

      The speaker questions whether it would be better just to pretend she were dead, so he doesn't have to experience the heartbreak. This way, he can put her for rest and embrace the love she did give--but then the speaker realizes she never gave real, unconditional love, since that love is never-ending.

    12. Saying, “I have hid my feelings, fearing they should do me wrong;” Saying, “Dost thou love me, cousin?” weeping, “I have loved thee long.”        30   Love took up the glass of Time, and turn’d it in his glowing hands; Every moment, lightly shaken, ran itself in golden sands

      These lines seem to suggest that by the time the cousin confesses her love, it is already too late. She admits that she has had these feelings for a long time, and then she asks the speaker if he, too, feels this way. But everything following seems to mean that they don't have a life together, and things are unsolvable.

    13. Where is comfort? in division of the records of the mind

      Does comfort come from not remembering things or focusing in on the past? The speaker wonders if he can ignore what happened and find comfort that way.

    14. As the husband is, the wife is: thou art mated with a clown, And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down.

      The speaker, feeling extremely angry, tells his cousin that she befriends or is involved with a clown, or a fool. He is still heated that she didn't choose him or confess sooner.

    15. Is it well to wish thee happy? having known me—to decline On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart than mine

      Because she did not confess her feelings, the speaker wonders whether he should wish her happy. He wonders if he should wish her well despite her previous hesitation to admit her feelings.

    16. Many a morning on the moorland did we hear the copses ring,        35 And her whisper throng’d my pulses with the fullness of the Spring

      The word "copse", according to the Oxford English dictionary, is a small group of trees. The speaker, once going outside and noticing nature, pays close attention to the copses and how they identify and mark spring.

    17. Smote

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to smote is to "pollute or blemish." Perhaps the word used here means that love pollutes life and the Self. When one falls in love, he/she loses sight of him/herself,

    18. id I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the West.

      A great constellation named after the mythological Orion, who was a Greek hunter. He is also considered to be heroic in Greek culture.

    19. 636. Locksley Hall  Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

      I would like to "claim" this poem! Thank you!

    1. A bright torch, and a casement ope at night, To let the warm Love in!

      He says he will leave the window open for her at night so that Cupid ("Love") can accompany her.

    2. And in the midst of this wide quietness A rosy sanctuary will I dress With the wreath'd trellis of a working brain,60 With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,

      Here Keat's seems to be describing the place in his mind for Psyche, created by his internationalizations of her and her value.

    3. Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane50 In some untrodden region of my mind,

      Here I think he makes a statement about giving her a Temple, which she deserves, in the comfort of his own mind. I think this is because he believes this is where the most can be done. Change starts from within?

    4. I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired. So let me be thy choir, and make a moan Upon the midnight hours; [120]Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet From swinged censer teeming; Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle,

      Within these lines I think Keat's wants to show his respect to Psyche and give her a voice, an eye, and a vessel to live vicariously through.

    5. though temple thou hast none, Nor altar heap'd with flowers;

      Here Keat's notices that Psyche has no place of worship - no temples, churches, or sanctuaries.

    6. The winged boy I knew; But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove? His Psyche true!

      I think in this scene Keats comes to the realization that up until this moment he didn't know who Cupid loved - and they realizes it is Psyche.

    7. casement


    8. feign

      Meaning create, invent.

    9. Dryads

      A tree nymph, or tree spirit, in Greek mythology. They are described as sitting on a mossy embankment.

    10. zephyrs

      A soft breeze

    11. fane


    12. lyre

      A string instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later periods.

    13. lucent

      Meaning illuminated

    14. Vesper

      Meaning: Venus as the evening star.

    15. amorous glow-worm of the sky;

      Venus is the Goddess of Love, which associates with "amorous."

    16. censer

      Defined as "a container in which incense is burned, typically during a religious ceremony."

    17. Phœbe's sapphire-region'd star,

      Pheobe is the Goddess of the Moon. Her star could be the Moon that we see today.

    18. Olympus

      A Mountain in Greece

    19. aurorean

      Aurora was the Roman Goddess of Dawn. Aurorean could mean like the dawn, so, a dawning love.

    20. bedded grass

      I imagine the grass laying in such a way that it would be suitable for comfort and sleeping, making it a BEDded grass.

    21. Tyrian

      Meaning Purple

    22. espied

      Definition: seen

    23. soft-conched

      A soft shell?

    24. tuneless numbers

      I think what Keat's may be referring to here are lines within the text of poetry. He may feel that the lines aren't worthy of the greatness of Psyche, dude to the fact that he uses the term "tuneless" to describe them - they are lacking melody because the poet feels uninspired.

    25. O Goddess!

      According to Greek Mythology, Psyche was the goddess of the soul and the wife of Eros, (Roman Cupid) god of love" She is said to have once been a mortal princess whose extraordinary beauty earned the ire of Aphrodite (Roman Venus) when men began turning their worship away from the goddess towards the girl.

      Credit: http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Psykhe.html

    1. Christina Rossetti, “The Convent Threshold”


    2. Robert Browning, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”

      Andrew Baumann

    3. “Locksley Hall”

      claimed by Liz Laughlin!

    4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Speckled Band”

      Zach Pivirotto

    5. Chapters 7-8 with Chapters 21-23: Justine, the death of Clerval, legal actions (two students may team up on this)

      JK this is me

    6. Walton’s framing letters, at the start and end of the text (two students may team up on this)


    7. Percy Bysshe Shelley: a poem about a witch who creates her own new life form (an alternative narrative to Frankenstein?): “The Witch of Atlas”


    8. Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”

    9. Walton’s framing letters, at the start and end of the text (two students may team up on this)


      P.S. This is Jon aka the weirdo student who decided to be creative with his username.

    1. thirsting flowers,

      The thirsting flowers need someone to look after them. They are delicate and need shelter along with water. The cloud becomes its caregiver.

  2. Oct 2016
  3. www.poetryfoundation.org www.poetryfoundation.org
    1. They choked my cries with force and fright, And tied me on a palfrey white

      According to the OED, a palfrey is a horse for ordinary riding. The five warriors seized Geraldine and tied her to a white horse.

    2. How camest thou here

      Camest means come. Christabel asks "How come you are here?" to the lady.

    3. Mary mother, save me now! (Said Christabel) And who art thou

      Christabel calls out to the blessed virgin Mary to save her, and then asks "Who art thou?". Art thou means are you, so Christabel is asking who are you to the lady.

    4. And she in the midnight wood will pray For the weal of her lover that's far away.

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, weal means welfare, well-being, happiness, and/or prosperity. Christabel would walk to the woods at midnight to pray for her lovers well-being and welfare while he is away.

    5. She stole along

      Christabel quietly walked at midnight to pray.

    6. The mastiff old did not awake, Yet she an angry moan did make! And what can ail the mastiff bitch?

      According to the OED, a mastiff is "A breed of large, powerful dog with a broad head, drooping ears, and pendulous lips, used as a guard dog and for fighting". The mastiff is pained and making sounds because it can sense danger and that something is not right with the maiden Geraldine. Often in contemporary horror films, dogs can be seen reacting in similar ways when danger, whether supernatural or physical, is near.

    7. By tairn and rill

      According to the OED, tairn means "A small mountain lake, having no significant tributaries." Rill means "A small stream; a brook; a rivulet." Coleridge is setting a scene where the night is quiet and serene, where even nocturnal birds are quiet and still.

    8. But vainly thou warrest,                For this is alone in        Thy power to declare,                That in the dim forest        Thou heard'st a low moaning, And found'st a bright lady, surpassingly fair; And didst bring her home with thee in love and in charity, To shield her and shelter her from the damp air.'

      Having been put under Geraldine's spell, Christabel is told of her mistake in helping a random stranger in the woods. Geraldine is saying that, by keeping to her Catholic customs of charity and love, Christabel has put herself in harms way.

    9. weal

      According to the OED, weal means "Welfare, well-being, happiness, prosperity". Coleridge is choosing to use old language to set a certain tone and believability that "Christabel" is an old text. Christabel is praying for her lover's safety and health while he is away.

    10. betrothèd knight

      According to the OED, betrothed means "Engaged for marriage, affianced". Christabel has been having dreams of her husband-to-be that keep her up and worrying all night, so she goes into the forrest to pray for him nightly.

    11. ghyll

      According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), the word "ghyll" is an alternative spelling for the word "gill", which is defined as "a deep rocky cleft or ravine, usually wooded and forming the course of a stream". This description fits in accurately with the stanza's intended setting, as Coleridge uses words like "Dungeon" and "Witches Lair" to emphasize dark, wet, and mysterious places. Additionally, this also emphasizes Coleridge's overall attempt to place the reader in a setting of medieval mysticism.

    12. sacristan

      According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), the word "sacristan" is described as "a parish of the church". This whole stanza emphasizes the grief of the Baron for his deceased wife, as he orders the sacristan to ring a massive bell each mourning in remembrance. The bell can be seen as a metaphor for Christabel herself. Coleridge uses both the synthetic inflection of the "bel" sound in both Christabel's name and the word "bell". This is intended, as the metaphor relates to the Baron's grief over his dead wife and the realization that his daughter is of marrying age, as the "bell" can additionally represent both death (mourning bell) and happiness (marriage bells).

    13. Irthing

      The River Irthing is a major river in northern England. The river itself is divided into various delta segments, spawning from the River Eden. Part of the river runs through the ancient Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's Wall was built by ancient Celts to defend against northern Scot invaders. This is evident in Coleridge's text, as he proceeds to write about traveling northward, across the Irthing and into Scotland.

    14. cliffand tower

      "Cliffand tower" is a reference to Clifford Tower, located in present day York, in Northern England. The tower was built in the 13th century on a large mossy mound to hold prisoners, which makes metaphorical sense since Coleridge makes a textual reference to "the lovely lady's prison" early in the same stanza. The references of a prison relates to Christabel's imprisonment to both the physical, and metaphorical domination/curse of Geraldine.

    1. And when at last her time drew near, 154Her looks were calm, her senses clear.

      Here, the idea that Martha Ray killed her child is challenged as it is said by Old Farmer Simpson that the child in her womb actually brought back her senses. However, in the first half of the stanza the child is thought to actually increase Martha Ray's madness. This back and forth thought could just be the local folk thinking amongst themselves about Martha Ray's condition. This distances us from the truth as we never actually know whether Martha Ray is mad or if she even killed her child.

    2. I never heard of such as dare 99Approach the spot when she is there.

      For some reason the speaker warns the main character away from Martha Ray's home. Her home is described as a hut, which connotes witches and magic. Historically, madness was considered a result of possession or witchcraft, and this line of thought wasn't properly challenged until the mid 19th century, 50 years ahead of this poem. Perhaps Wordsworth is merely reporting the superstitions of country folk and doesn't necessarily hold these views himself.

    3. Not higher than a two years’ child

      It could be coincidence that the tree is no higher than a 2-year old child, but equating the tree to a child could be an allegory. Whereas the pond presents a reflection of the child, perhaps the tree is also a reflection, where the surface presents a grim tree but below is something beautiful.

    4. 230Whene’er you look on it, ’tis plain 231The baby looks at you again.

      Much like how the child is hidden beneath the hill, the child is also hidden within the reflection of the pond. This concept gives depth to reflective properties, metaphorically, where looking at a reflection presents something deeper than the mere image being reflected. Another interpretation is that the child and main character are related in some way as their movements mimic one another, much like a reflection would mimic the person standing in front of it.

    5. THE THORN

    6. “Oh misery! oh misery! 253 O woe is me! oh misery!”

      The repetition of lines show the emphasis and how the town gossip is lingering on a certain trait of Martha Ray. The tautology shows that when people fixate on a certain thing, they repeat it inside their minds, much like how it is shown in the poem when Martha says "Oh misery! oh misery!"

    7. Her company to Stephen Hill; 119And she was blithe and gay, 120And she was happy, happy still 121Whene’er she thought of Stephen Hill. XII. 122And they had fix’d the wedding-day, 123The morning that must wed them both; 124But Stephen to another maid 125Had sworn another oath; 126And with this other maid to church 127Unthinking Stephen went— 128Poor Martha! on that woful day

      Stephen Hill isn't mentioned after this event. He is used in the story to serve as a back story for Martha to give her motive to be upset in the poem. It is speculated (by the public's gossip) that he had a relationship with Martha then left her to be with another women, and what exactly occurred between the couple was never entirely disclosed. This leaves the audience to think that he could have possibly had more than a relationship with Martha and thus, explains why she weeps on the hill.

    8. Once again 5Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, 6Which on a wild secluded scene impress 7Thoughts of more deep seclusion

      Pictured is an aerial view of Tintern Abbey. Consistent with Wordsworth's observation, the site is surrounded by forested hills, isolating the location from the outside world. It's likely that this aspect of the Wye is what fueled the introspective current that runs throughout this piece. Surrounded predominately by foliage, It's possible that Wordsworth had no choice but to create inner-dialogue in order to make sense of his thoughts.

    9. she can so inform 130The mind that is within us, so impress 131With quietness and beauty, and so feed 132With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, 133Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, 134Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all 135The dreary intercourse of daily life,

      This excerpt provides insight into Wordsworth's fascination with nature. Established earlier in the piece, nature offered him an escape during his youth. This was followed by clarity during his maturation. Here, we can gather a explanation of the circumstances that allowed both of these gifts to transfer.

      Its "quietness" offers something that people cannot. In nature, there's no "lofty thoughts," "evil tongues," "rash judgments," or "sneers of selfish men." Although kindness is also absent, this indifference allows one to act and think how they want without fear of punishment or perversion of reward. In nature, the only actions you're capable of are ones that you're intrinsically predisposed of. In short, you can be who you truly are.

    10. I have learned 92To look on nature, not as in the hour 93Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes 94The still, sad music of humanity,

      Here, we are shown the evolution of Wordsworth's earlier mindset of someone who thinks only of, "flying from something he dreads." No longer an aimless youth, he finds clarity in the nature that once only served as an escape. This sentiment is felt so deeply that Wordsworth possibly experiences it in a religious sense. Later in the piece, he references "a presence" which seems to run through all aspects of creation. This philosophy has similarities with Unitarianism, a christian movement of Wordsworth's time which commonly held the belief that everything in existence carries within a spiritual essence, thus connecting all aspects of life.

    11. roe

      Commonly used when referring to fish eggs, it's possible that Wordsworth's use of "roe" refers to the roe deer, a member of Wales' native fauna. This is supported by mentions of "bounding . . . by the sides of the deep rivers," rather than within their stream. Further evidence can be found in Wordsworth's reference of "a man flying from what he dreads." This behavior mirrors the skittish nature which is typical of deer.

      From this comparison, it can be deduced that Wordsworth's actions were in line with a roe deer in that his aim was simply to survive. Where he wound up made no difference.

    12. cataract

      The meaning of "cataract" when used here is different from its more prevalent, contemporary usage. Here, the word refers to a waterfall with the connotation of a downpour. Its reference to rushing water pre-dates the name of the disease which it's now associated with. One explanation for this association could be that the eye condition resembles the cloudiness of rushing water. Another explanation refers to early Persian terminology for the ailment: "nazul-i-ah" which translates to "descent of water."

    13. 232And some had sworn an oath that she 233Should be to public justice brought; 234And for the little infant’s bones 235With spades they would have sought.

      After much use of repetition, the speaker remarks on the promises of others that justice should be brought among Martha, speculating that she must have committed an awful crime. The search for the infant's bones drawls much attention to the conclusion of a burial as if the mystery was already solved. These given oaths by the people emphasize Wordsworth's view on how repetition creates a truth once something is believed enough, since the mind clings on to repeated words and phrases of what is not known. Hence the infant's fate is unknown, yet throughout this whole poem, the constant use of similar phrases almost gives a sure answer, as that is all the reader can hold on to. for any sense in guidance and amplified emotion.

    14. 199 I did not speak—I saw her face, 200In truth it was enough for me;

      Here is more use of repetition through imagery. Looking upon the face of the weeping Martha, the speaker seems convinced that she indeed buried her infant, as though her despair was as evident as the storm about the land. This discovery from the speaker only presses on the reader's emotions more and more, creating truth in the mystery of Martha's infant.

    15. 36 A beauteous heap, a hill of moss, 37Just half a foot in height.

      The hill may surely represent the the grave of Martha's infant, given it's size of only half a foot in height. Certainly plenty of room to bury an infant. Such symbolism could give reason to why Martha feels the need to visit the hill so often, crying in misery. The height of the hill seems to refer to how hidden it was from anyone's view, as though only Martha knew of the grave's existence. The hill could also reflect a part of the infant, with the tufts of moss as hair, shaken grass as its motion, and the cries heard by others as the infants cry for its mother. I believe such descriptions refer to how Wordsworth uses repetition, this time through imagery, to help the reader view the hill differently, enough to finally believe it does represent a grave and that Martha perhaps did do away with her infant and bury it there. http://wallpaperstock.net/hilltop-sunset_wallpapers_31922_1920x1200_1.html

    16. in tempest

      The tempest is defined as a violent storm, which the speaker uses to question why poor Martha still goes to the top of the mountain. This horrid weather symbolizes Martha's anguish and the different elements of precipitation, such as the rain and snow, correlate to the strong emotion Martha shows towards the infant. https://makingroomforgod.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/storm.jpg

    17. and in after years, 142When these wild ecstasies shall be matured 143Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind 144Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms, 145Thy memory be as a dwelling-place 146For all sweet sounds and harmonies

      Wordsworth is saying that through time, our memories mature and become a "sober pleasure," which suggests that during the present, moments are lively, fleeting, and hard to capture at the time. It takes years for these memories to develop into these sober pleasures for us to look back and see things clearly. Then, your mind becomes a "mansion" for these memories. These memories then keep us grounded, and the speaker says that if is friend is stricken with "solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief," that she will always be able to remember him with "tender joy." We use our memories to heal and get through times of pain.

    18. And mossy network too is there, 41As if by hand of lady fair 42The work had woven been, 43And cups, the darlings of the eye, 44So deep is their vermillion dye. V. 45Ah me! what lovely tints are there! 46Of olive green and scarlet bright, 47In spikes, in branches, and in stars, 48Green, red, and pearly white.

      This imagery is vastly different from how he describes the mound in later stanzas. I believe that this switch in description of imagery is Wordsworth's way of using repetition, this time in scenery, to effect the way the reader views the mound. He talks about ever changing beliefs and I wonder if perhaps this is how he is "experimenting" with the effect that the reader will believe whatever they are told short term, no matter if it has changed or not.

    19. My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch 121The language of my former heart, and read 122My former pleasures in the shooting lights 123Of thy wild eyes.

      These lines relate to the passage of time and catching up with an old friend who holds "former pleasures" of the speaker. The speaker looks at this friend and sees all of their memories together in her eyes. We can never go back to things of the past, but when we reunite with people of our past, we see in them an old version of ourselves that we can never get back - "May I behold in thee what I was once."

      This is also the first time that a second character is mentioned in the poem. That is, if you don't consider the Wye River to be its own living entity, as stated in an above annoation.

    20. High on a mountain’s highest ridge, 24Where oft the stormy winter gale 25Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds 26It sweeps from vale to vale; 27Not five yards from the mountain-path,

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/4/21/1271867072464/Quantock-Hills-001.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=7414b5c874d0a91e240600bb2af9de90 This would be the kind of scenery found on this mountain. I also found quite a few pictures that involved hills of flowers. I think that Wordsworth adapted the scenery in this poem to fit his need to see what sublime imagery does to the reader.

    21. lichens

      "... plants, often of a green, grey, or yellow tint, which grow on the surface of rocks, trees, etc." Also called liverwort according to the Oxford English Dictionary. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-KSbqGwqSreU/T7HPTvPjvnI/AAAAAAAABpM/rqTsrkwyac8/s1600/awesome+lichen.JPG

    22. Martha Ray)

      In response to slc147: There is actually a footnote in our book that shares a similar story but with an interesting twist. The book says that Martha Ray was a mistress to a nobleman, and was murdered by a rejected clergyman in the form of a suitor. He claimed he did the deed because of "Love's madness." It also goes on to state that one of the illegitimate children Martha Ray bore to the nobleman was friends with Wordsworth and Coleridge. I wonder if there's a little bit more research to be done here.

    23. Instead of jutting crag, I found 198 A woman seated on the ground.

      A "crag" can be described as a jagged or rugged cliff. This could potentially be hinting at the rugged exterior society seems to see Martha Ray having, or even the lack of reason and completely rugged accusations that society seems to be making.

    24. That’s like an infant’s grave in size 62And that same pond of which I spoke, 63 A woman in a scarlet cloak, 64And to herself she cries, 65“Oh misery! oh misery! 66Oh woe is me! oh misery!”

      These lines seem quite obvious in their purpose: it's trying to show that without a doubt, the woman in the scarlet cloak had a baby, killed it, and buried it here. More importantly than that however, is the idea that Wordsworth is likely trying to show hints of how gossip works and travels - that idea encompasses this poem.

    25. There is a thorn; it looks so old, 2In truth you’d find it hard to say, 3How it could ever have been young, 4It looks so old and grey.

      These lines seem to hint at possibly being symbolic of Martha Ray, the main female character in the poem. She's much more like an aspect of setting that she is a character in all honesty. She holds eerie presence and is misunderstood by society, much like the thorn.

    26. At all times of the day and night 68This wretched woman thither goes,

      This is making note of the fact that the woman in the poem can be found at the top of this hill regardless of time. In the day or in the night, she was there.

    27. O sylvan Wye!

      Image of Tintern Abbey and the Wye River

      According to the OED, "sylvan" means "One who (or something that) inhabits a wood or forest; a being of the woods."

      This word seems to suggest that the river is more than just a river - it seems to be living in some way. The speaker also calls the river a "wanderer through the woods," which also makes the river come alive. This makes the river seem like an old friend that the speaker's spirit keeps coming back to. In this poem, the river seems more important than the abbey, which gets barely any recognition. This poem seems to be more about nature and the human spirit.

    28. corporeal

      According to the OED, this word means "Of the nature of the animal body as opposed to the spirit; physical; bodily; mortal."

      This phrasing of "corporeal frame" to describe a human body, seems to suggest that your body is something which holds you back, until you are "laid asleep / In body, and become a living soul." This says that only our bodies die, or are "laid asleep," while our soul continues to live on. Our bodies are simply a cavity to hold our soul until we die, and only then does our soul become "living."

    29. unremembered pleasure

      The choice to use the word "unremembered" here seems to be important and indicative of something so fleeting and insignificant, that the speaker didn't even remember these feelings. He doesn't say that these are "feelings too / Of forgotten pleasure," because this would suggest that were remembered in the first place, and that over time, they were forgotten. The fact that feelings were "unremembered" seems to show that they "had no trivial influence" on the man's life.

    30. Five years have passed; five summers, with the length 2Of five long winters!

      Here, Wordsworth is clearly stating that "Five years have passed" since he has been back to this spot, but these years seem to have passed slowly "with the length / Of five long winters!" Winter always seems to pass longer than summer. Summer is fleeting, while winter seems to drag on and never end. Wordsworth is playing with this idea of how time seems to pass slowly and his summers away from Tintern Abbey have felt like winters, because they have been so long. This goes with the idea that time passes fast when you're enjoying your time, but when you are away from something, time seems to slow down.

    31. Martha Ray

      There is a true story about a woman named Martha Ray. She lived from 1742-1779 before she was murdered by a man she was thought to be romantically involved with. She had been in a relationship with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich despite his marriage to a woman suffering mental illness. They had been involved for several years and had 5 children before he introduced her to solider, Ray Hackman. Due to rumors of financial debt, Ray got involved with Hackman who had more stability and means to support her. He ended up becoming obsessed with her and murdered her. It is said that he committed the murder because she had been romantically involved with another man, but those rumors have not been confirmed.

      Ironically, the story told in the thorn is about a mistress and rumor after rumor that no one has real validation on.

    32. You see a little muddy pond 31Of water, never dry; 32 I’ve measured it from side to side: 33’Tis three feet long, and two feet wide

      This is the size of an infant grave. Can we assume that maybe the child that the woman may or may not have had and may or may not have killed could possibly be buried there if it does so exist? Hmm.. or is just a spot on the earth that collects alot of water and is always muddy because the earth drains down into it from the hill. You can not make an assumption because no one really knows. Where did these rumors even start? Was it a credible source? I don't even know this woman and I am wondering if she did or did not have and kill and child.

    33. espy

      "to catch sight of"

      This adds to the mystery of the story by giving the imagery that you "caught sight" of something . . . as if it was not apparent. It's like when you think you see something moving out of the corner of your eye, but you are not completely sure. It would take more investigation, but what if something was there, do i=you even want to find it?

    34. vermillion

      "a brilliant red pigment made from mercury sulfide" -Google Definition

      The story refers to this deep, brilliant, red color that makes me think of blood. The woman in this story is being accused of killing her baby, murder. The use of the word "vermillion" makes it seem dark and morbid.

    35. virtual tautology is much oftener produced by using different words when the meaning is exactly the same.

      This use of "virtual tautology" is shown in his use of colors in the poem. For the color red, alone, he uses "vermilion", "scarlet", and "red" which all seem to evoke the same visual for the reader, but a reoccurring visual that is stuck in the readers mind throughout.

    36. I cannot tell; but some will say 215She hanged her baby on the tree, 216Some say she drowned it in the pond, 217Which is a little step beyond, 218But all and each agree, 219The little babe was buried there,

      In these lines, it seems to me, that Wordsworth is comment on the blurred lines between fact and fiction. The narrator explicitly states that no one knows if the baby was there, or even if there was a baby and he "cannot tell". However, while the method of death is uncertain "all and each agree" that the baby is buried there. As if the agreement of all is equivalent to it it being true. Wordsworth seems to be implying the power of language to create fact; if enough people repeat something and enough believe it then it become true.

    37. vermillion

      Vermilion is a "brilliant red or scarlet pigment originally made from the powdered mineral cinnabar". Wordsworth uses vermilion as a descriptor in the mossy hill where the infant is rumored to be buried. It is notable that he specifically chooses vermilion, which is the same color as scarlet, but doesn't use that word. Scarlet is used to describe Martha Rays coat, but the color association is with the hill where she frequents. This may be because Wordsworth is connecting her the the hill itself, or what could be found within the hill. He specifically ties ties Martha, through color, to this location, however doesn't do it explicitly. As if he is hiding the connection; a clue within the poem to the mystery?

    38. a fresh and lovely sight,

      In stark contrast to the "old and grey", "wretched", "poor" Thorn tree from the poems opening lines, Wordsworth weaves in a vision of color and beauty on the hill (that may or may not be the place of an infant's grave)-- with vermilion, olive green, scarlet, red, and white. The tiny foot tall "hill of moss" is the only description of color (besides the woman's cloak) in the poem and stands out because of this. Wordsworth is intentionally drawing attention to this piece of the landscape through the language in order to highlight it's centrality to the mystery of the poem, whether or not their is a grave there.

    39. THE THORN.

      In the footnote for "The Thorn" in our anthology, Wordsworth describes observing a thorn tree on Quantock Hill during a storm that he had never noticed before. He goes on to write that, through this poem, he hoped to "make this Thorn permanently an impressive object as the storm [had]" for him. With this goal in mind, he seems to be making the Thorn "impressive" by associating it with the mystery of Martha Ray. He creates a legend or myth in the poem, connects it with the Thorn, and makes it memorable.

    40. Quam nihil ad genium, Papiniane, tuum!

      This is a Latin epigraph. It's a kind of paratext! Anyone have a translation?