What is Coleridge's attitude towards nature in reference to "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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Specifically with reference to nature rather than to other things...  I would say that both poems show that Coleridge likes nature but also sees that nature can be violent and dangerous.

For example, in "Rime" Coleridge mentions the beauty of the sun as it rises and sets -- he makes it sound majestic.  His description of the iceberg is similar.  Yet at the same time, he has the ship punished by storms, which pursue it (it sounds like nature hates the ship).

In "Kublai Khan" the rivers can meander and be beautiful.  But on the other hand, nature can be savage, with "ceaseless turmoil seething."

So it seems to me that Coleridge understands that nature can be beautiful and majestic, but very dangerous as well.

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Concerning Coleridge's attitude toward nature, I'll tackle "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and let another editor handle "Kubla Khan."

The destruction and suffering experienced by the ship and the mariners is brought on by a senseless act of destruction.  The ancient mariner kills an albatross for no good reason.  He shows a terrible lack of respect for nature, for creation.  All of creation possesses value in the poem, and the senseless destruction of any part of nature is a serious offence.

As the mariner says:

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell

To Thee, thou Wedding Guest!

He prayeth well, who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast.


He prayeth best, who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.

Coleridge's respect for and love of nature is powerfully presented in his "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."  To phrase his views of nature in the poem in modern terms, we might say that Coleridge is suggesting that humans should be stewards of nature, not destroyers.


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