Differentiate between fancy and imagination as proposed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge was certainly an authority on imagination. As the poet who created Rime of the Ancient Mariner and "Kubla Khan," he demonstrated an active, imaginative power not often seen.

Coleridge was one of the major Romantic poets. The Romantics emphasized, among other things, the power of the imagination, so it isn't surprising that he theorized about it.

Coleridge considered the human imaginative act to be similar to God's creative act. Man, like God, was capable of harnessing his imagination to create something new. It isn't easy, but it is possible.

Fancy, on the other hand, refers to the basic daily perceptions that we all have to make to get through the day. It doesn't create anything, it doesn't reveal deep philosophical truths; it just accepts sensory information. We need it to function. But we need imagination to truly express ourselves and make our lives beautiful. 

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avitheeditor | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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S.T.Coleridge brilliantly depicts the word-picture of imagination and fancy in order to draw a demarcating line between these two aspects in the chapter-13 of his Biographia Literaria. He talks about two types of imagination-primary and secondary. Primary imagination is something that is there in every human being because it is the living power of human perception. secondary imagination is concurrent with primary imagination but it functions in a different mode and degree and has the power to re-create, which is a characteristic of the poets.

Fancy is a form of memory and it functions only at the stage when it is blended with the sense that we call 'will'.

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