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Analyze the supernatural elements in the poetry of Coleridge.

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shewa55 | Valedictorian

Posted January 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM via web

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Analyze the supernatural elements in the poetry of Coleridge.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM (Answer #1)

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Elements of the supernatural are part of Coleridge's poetry, and can easily be seen by any reader of his classic words such as "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" or "Kubla Khan." His poems are full of tangible examples of the supernatural, whether it be in the form of the specteral figures of "DEATH" and "LIFE-IN-DEATH" in the former or the "damsel with a dulcimer" that the speaker sees in the latter. Note the following description of these two figures from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as they gamble for the lives of the men on the boat:

The naked hulk alongside came,

And the twain were casting dice;

"The game is done! I've won! I've won!"

Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

As a result, the other crewmen die and slump to the floor as the mariner hears their souls whizzing past him as if they were a crossbow bolt. Coleridge's poetry certainly presents him as focusing more on the supernatural aspects of Romanticism, and his purpose in writing Lyrical Ballads, the groundbreaking work of poetry that he wrote with Wordsworth, was to make the supernatural appear natural, whereas Wordsworth aimed to do the opposite. Coleridge's success can be seen in the presentation of the supernatural in the poems contained in this volume, where terrifying figures and mystical events happen as if they were part of everyday life.

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