Literature Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Can you please help analyze "The Witch" by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge?

Expert Answers info

booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4,119 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge's poem, entitled "The Witch," focuses on the wish to achieve acceptance as seen in the line, "lift me over the threshold, and let me in at the door," which is used twice in the poem. Based on research, the wish of the "exile to be allowed to enter, to cross the threshold" is not an uncommon theme in Coleridge's poetry. In "The Witch", the figure is permitted to cross, and it..."disrupts or irrevocably transforms its new surroundings."

It is felt that Mary Coleridge's poetry is directed at that of her great-great uncle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. A poem at the center of Mary's "The Witch" is S.T. Coleridge's "Christabel," written about one hundred years before Mary's poem. The theme of "entering in" or "breaking through" is exhibited by Mary's poem and besides the content of Mary's verse, it has used Coleridge's "Christabel" to become a part of Mary's poem.

Though based on research, and comparing the Coleridge authors' work, without background, the poem can stand...

(The entire section contains 623 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial