Samuel Taylor Coleridge Questions and Answers

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Examine the presence of Romantic concepts in Coleridge's  "The Nightingale." 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The original question had to be edited down.  I think that the most dominant Romantic concept that is present in Colerdige's poem is the strong connection he displays with the natural world.  Coleridge's entire poem is about a bird in its natural setting.  There is much in way of the speaker's, presumably Colerdige's, own desire to mirror the freedom and sense of being that the bird holds.  It is here where I think that one can see how the Romantic concept of love of nature is present.  At the same time, the invocation of emotional ideas such as melancholy, hope, and the affect of parting are Romantic concepts illuminated in the poem.  The Romantic praising of emotion, willing to see emotional frames of references as part of the being of the life experience is part of Coleridge's approach in the poem.  Finally, the introspective analysis of the self that is such a part of the poetic expression is another Romantic concept that Coleridge introduces.  For Coleridge, a strong Romantic is willing to take what is present in the world and use it to explore the world of the subjective.  In externalizing the subjective experience, one hopes to find a universal reality.  This aspiration becomes part of the poem and is another example of the Romantic concepts that Coleridge represents in "The Nightingale."

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