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Proem Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 86 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Proem.
This section contains 713 words
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Themes

Free Will

In line 16, the speaker of Tennyson's "Proem" tells God, "Our wills are ours, to make them Thine." One of the central beliefs of the Judeo- Christian tradition, within which Tennyson wrote, is the understanding that human beings are able to make their own decisions and are not just the sum of their genetic predisposition and experiences. Without free will, humans would not be responsible for their sins or their good deeds but, like machines, would only behave according to external influences.

The poem asserts that humans have free will, and points out how this freedom, which could lead to bad behavior, is ultimately to God's benefit. Humans have the ability to choose to do God's bidding, which makes their worship of Him more significant than it would be if they had no choice. Being omnipotent, God does not need this explained to Him by Tennyson; the poem's...

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This section contains 713 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Proem Study Guide
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Proem from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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