Samuel Taylor Coleridge Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the most important similarities and differences between the poems "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge?   

Expert Answers info

Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,505 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

"Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" are similar in their lyrical qualities, their use of imagery, and their faux historical subject matter. They are different in their state of completion, their structure, and their genre.

Both poems reflect Coleridge's skill with rhythm, meter, and rhyme that produce a lyrical quality immensely pleasing to the ear. Lines such as "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree" and "Day after day, day after day / We stuck, nor breath nor motion; / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean" seem to roll off the tongue and are some of the classic lines of English poetry for their sheer beauty of language. Both poems rely on sensory descriptions to help the reader see, hear, and smell what the author is writing about. Lines 8 - 11 of "Kubla Khan" and lines 59 - 26 of "Rime" are just two examples of Coleridge's masterful imagery. Both poems develop a seemingly historical incident:...

(The entire section contains 478 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial