"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a poem in which the speaker has a vision primarily of a mystical place called Xanadu, the "pleasure dome" of the ruthless warrior, Kubla Khan. Because the poem is essentially description, it is not surprising to discover that the work is replete with figurative language, including similes and metaphors.
A metaphor is
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to a person, idea, or object to which it is not literally applicable. It is an implied analogy or unstated comparison which imaginatively identifies one thing with another.
In this poem, the metaphors are a little more difficult to find and understand. One of them is the "lifeless ocean" into which the five rivers in Xanadu flow. While this is an imaginative poem and the pleasure dome is described as being hauntingly beautiful, there is an end to the pleasure and the beauty, and that is the ocean. The rivers "sink in tumult" into the ocean. Each living, flowing river ends its...
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