Hw log 3 Essay Example

Study Guide Questions No. 14 for the LB 1798

The Dungeon gives a narrative about a criminal who is confined in a prison cell in solitude and hence the use of the word dungeon to refer to this inhabitable and torturous place. The Convict on the other hand also talks about a prison visit, describing how abandoned the prisoners are. The place is described as a place of suffering rather than reforming the prisoner into a better person. In both poems, their criticism and their plea for the review of this form of punishment is evident. A good example when the speaker in The Convict says, “My care, if the arm of the mighty were mine, / ” Would plant thee where yet thou might’st blossom again” (Wordsworth and Coleridge 208). The innocent people are in both cases required to push for this reforms as well as show love to the prisoners and help them reform in a happy, peaceful environment.

The freedom of the prisoners in both poems is associated with nature. In The Dungeon, the prisoner suffers in a cell where there is no freedom to do anything, while out there nature provides an environment with no restrictions to do what one pleases. The poem also emphasizes on the healing power of nature, which could help transform a criminal into a better individual. The Convict, also describes imprisonment as quickly leaving the calmness of nature, “On the slope of a mountain I stood;

While the joy that precedes the calm season of rest” (Wordsworth and Coleridge 205) into a prison cell full of suffering. Nature is in both cases perceived to be one of best solutions to this form of punishment.

In both poems, it can be clearly observed that their sympathies are with the criminals who are required or find themselves going through imprisonment. It is the main reason why both poems advocate for reforms. A good example is in The Dungeon when this is asked “Is this the only cure? Merciful God!” (Wordsworth and Coleridge 148).


Wordsworth, William and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads, 1798. 8th ed. Penguin Books, 2006. Print.