Character of A Happy Warrior

7 July 2016

‘Character of the Happy Warrior’ is a poem written by William Wordsworth in which the characteristics possessed by a warrior are described. Wordsworth is an eighteenth century poet and published this in 1850.

According to me, Professor Hammett should include this poem in his syllabus next time he teaches ENG 2320 because; the students will learn more about importance of nationalism during the Romanticism, also this work fits in another poem included in the syllabus this year called ‘The Charge of The Light Brigade’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and the two critics have great things to add refering to the emphasis Wordsworth placed on the word ‘nature’ and why hasn’t he given any names to identify who he is refering to as being a warrior.

Character of A Happy Warrior Essay Example

There are many things that the students can take away from this particular poem by Wordsworth. For example: Emotions is one of the characteristics of the Romanticism period as discussed in class, where Wordsworth says that a warrior, “Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim; And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait. For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state”(Wordsworth, 40).

In these lines, the poet describes how a true warrior is not cought up in the material world and he maintains his moral values and integrity towards himself and the nation. As a critic to this poem, the author of ‘Restoration of The Warrior’ named John Brown Hamilton, says that the warrior’s “performance in daily life is based on concepts of reason, moral law, and political integrity”(Hamilton, 318). In this statement, the author is trying to explain what Wordsworth refers or relates to when he describes the virtual characteristics of the warrior.

According to me, one thing students can take from this part of the poem that takes on ethics is that; in today’s world, individualism rules everyone and like Wordsworth discussed through his peom ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’ about humans chasing material happiness. Thus, it’s important to visualize the bigger picture and ask ourselves the main reason for doing what we do. Even though the poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ by Lord Alfred Tennyson was from a Victorian period, it fits into the roles and characteristics that are possessed by a soldier.

We learned in class that Tennyson got an honor of being a ‘poet laureate’ after Wordsworth died in the eithteenth century. In Tennyson’s poem, the soldiers risk their lives by not looking back and moving further because, they are true to their commitment and promise, says “Storm’d at with shot and shell,? Boldly they rode and well”(3). In comparison to Wordsworth’s poem, the soldier is shown to have similar qualities for example: he says, “Who, if he rise to station of command, Rises by open means; and there will stand.

” Here we see that the poet is showing how the soldier follows and obeys the orders given to him and never takes a step backward despite of the challenges he has to face. Regardless of the similarities of the characteristics seen in the soldiers during this period, modern day societies still view them as a heroic and one who lives by his promises, and this is “What every man in arms should wish to be”(Wordsworth, 2). Thus, we see some sort of similarity between these poems written in two different time periods but the concept was the same. Wordsworth spent most of his time defining and emphasizing ‘nature’ in his works.

Hamilton says that, “We may recall the function of reason with relation to nature, as one of the guides for man’s conduct, in much the same way that Wordsworth states that it is a guide for the conduct of the Happy Warrior” (Hamilton, 318). By this, the critic describes how Wordsworth tries to link thoughts and actions of an individual to nature and it’s reasoning. I agree with him because, I think the more time we spend thinking about where we come from and what is the main purpose of us on this planet, the more the underlying reasons are discovered.

Somewhere we surely end up identifying or thinking about the Almighty’s creation of nature and how it all works out. Eric C. Walker is the author of the book called ‘Studies In Romanticism’ and a critic for showing why Wordsworth didn’t use someone as the warrior’s identity. In his chapter “Wordsworth, Warriors, and Naming,” Walker says, “The hero of this poem is anonymous. The poem opens up by creating expectations of naming-“Who is the happy warrior? Who is he/ Who every Man in arms should wish to be?

” Naming is a problem in the definition, however, because the ideal happy warrior should be indifferent to his name regardless of his fate. ” (Walker, 225). I agree to what Walker has to say because, once the reader has a certain name they tend to focus on somebody else’s quality rather than feeling comfortable to owning some of the characteristics. Wordsworth has done a great job by keeping the identity annonymous, this way it gives the readers a chance to own the qualities or think about their heros or mentors while reading the poem.

This is how Wordsworth’s poem ‘Character of the Happy Warrior’ fits into Romanticism and the characteristics of this period such as nationalism, individualism, and emotions. According to me, Professor Hammett should definitely look into including this poem in his syllabus next time he teaches ENG 2320 because, students can personally relate to some of the characteristics described in various ways, be it for themselves or their heros.

The critics have also explained the positive sides of this poem, and it relates to some other literature works we studied in class. In conclusion, I loved researching Wordsworth’s poems just like I loved the one we went over in class called ‘Ode’ and I found a lot of other interesting ones too but, somehow ‘Character of the Happy Warrior’ seemed a very encouraging and uplifting poem. Works Cited

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