This article reads William Wordsworth's “Simon Lee” as an array of concentric waves of mimesis. The extraordinarily large number of cases of mimesis is organized around the ethical response of sympathy that is inherently intertwined with mimesis. These instances of mimesis are structured for depicting a revelation of loss through sympathy and invoking this revelation in the reader. This revelation happens within the poem and is mimetically linked to another revelation the poem engineers in the real life of the reader. Wordsworth employs concentric waves of mimesis to ripple outward from different levels within the poem, broadening to the reader. This culminates with the invitation to the reader to create a mimesis to complete it in a morally salutary way. As sympathy is the ethical side of mimesis and the poem is a meditation upon sympathy, the revelation of sympathy becomes a revelation of self-consciousness.

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