Where is the primary Romantic concept in "Kubla Khan?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that the concept of the dream or subjective vision is something that lies at the heart of the Coleridge poem.  This is the primary representation of Romanticism.  The idea of a dream or vision is Romantic for a couple of reasons.  The first is that this validates the subjective experience in Romanticism.  The experience of a dream or vision is a personal one, something rooted in the basic idea of one's own sense of narrative.  It is not something that can be regulated or fully appropriated by rational means, and this is where Colerdige's poem both lies in its substance and in its creation.  Additionally, the idea of a dream or vision validates the Romantic belief that the artists creates work out of their own experience, for others to enjoy, but for the primary purpose of reflection of self.  This is evident in Coleridge's poem.  Consider the opening lines of the poem as an allusion to what is going on in Colerdige's mind, something that distinguishes him as an artist.  The Romantic concept of the dream or subjective vision is the strongest representation of the movement to emerge from Coleridge's poem.