Kubba Khan Essay Example
Kubba Khan Essay Example

Kubba Khan Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (974 words)
  • Published: October 14, 2016
  • Type: Essay
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Devon in 1772. His father, a clergyman, moved his family to London when Coleridge was young, and it was there that Coleridge attended school. Coleridge became the poet of imagination, exploring the relationships between nature and the mind as it exists as a separate entity.

Poems such as “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan” demonstrate Coleridge’s talent for concocting bizarre, unsettling stories full of fantastic imagery and magic Romantic literature involves the exploration of nature and the finite qualities of the human imagination; a poet that revolutionized the concept of nature and how nature is reflected in one’s imagination is Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

This is evident in his poem, “Kubla Khan,” not only does Coleridge refer to a historical


figure like Kubla Khan, but he describes the topography of Kubla Khan’s empire within the expanses of his kingdom and the vast unknown nature outside of his kingdom. However unlike Coleridge’s counterparts during the romantic period, Coleridge has no structure to his poem, it almost seems as if he jotted down his imagination of a mysterious land, one within the confines of the lush and safe empire, and another wild and restless area outside of the territory.

Coleridge is known to state contradictory ideas within his poetry, nonetheless the author combines the two contradictory factors to create an overlapping understanding of the topography of Xanadu, otherwise known as Kubla Khan’s kingdom. As suggested above, it is evident in the first stanza of the poem “Kubla Khan,” Coleridge is trying to create an environment within the confinements of the kingdom, which is safe,

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beautiful and defined, within the boundaries of Coleridge’s imagination. But before Coleridge describes Kubla Khan’s vast kingdom, he makes a contradictory statement.

Take for example in lines 3-5, “ where Alph, the sacred river, ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea” In turn, Coleridge is already trying to distinct historical facts and his imagination, by describing a sunless sea, which is impossible in reality but it’s perceivable in one’s imagination. He also takes into consideration, the vast and unknown aspects of the empire by suggesting, “caverns measureless to man,” thus setting up a spooky and untamed aspect to the landscape.

However, in Lines 6-11, Coleridge contradicts his previous spooky sentiments by describing the beauty of the empire, “so twice five miles of fertile ground, with walls and towers were girdled round:? and there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; and here were forests ancient as the hills, enfolding sunny spots of greenery. ” Coleridge basically describes the kingdom, which is peaceful, quite, lush and protected.

However, he juxtaposes his previous sentiments, when he describes, “caverns measureless to man,” where as the kingdom is measurable and defined, the caverns represent what is scary, unknown and unexplored. Likewise, we see more of the unexplored and rich expanses of Coleridge’s imagination, and what he perceives to be the wild and unknown nature beyond the walls of the kingdom. Take for example, Lines 12 – 16, Coleridge states, “But oh! That deep romantic chasm which slanted down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! As holy and enchanted as e'er beneath a

waning moon was haunted ? By woman wailing for her demon lover! ” In turn, Coleridge describes a map of the kingdom, starting up with secure, lush environment within the boundaries of Kubla Khan’s kingdom to the rolling hills and mysterious, unruly and inexplicable outer boundaries. Basically, Coleridge is drawing up a map of his imagination, from the walled kingdom to the undefined outskirts and finally to the unknown.

He also uses literary techniques to explain the undefined wilderness, take for example, “as if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing. ” Coleridge personifies the earth like another human being breathing and panting, but this technique is used to describe the fear of the unknown and the rhythm and general atmosphere one perceives of the wilderness. Coleridge also likes to provide transformation of the environment from within the castle borders to the unknown beyond the boundaries and that is evident in lines 19-24, “a mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst ?

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river. ” In this passage, Coleridge is making a transition from the rigid and conformed thinking within the castle boundaries, to the excitement and exploration of nature and it’s untamed and natural thinking process. Finally, Coleridge combines the elements that he introduces in stanza 1 and stanza 2 and provides a playful conclusion in stanza 3. Take for example, in ines 31-34, Coleridge says, “The shadow of the dome of pleasure floated midway on the waves; where was heard

the mingled measure from the fountain and the caves. ” Consequently, Coleridge reintroduces the concept of the pleasure dome, the fountain and the caves, which were introduced in stanza 1 and 2. He basically suggests enlightenment, the escape from conformity and the pleasure dome that existed within the castle walls and remnants from within the boundaries, to excitement of the unknown and the inexplicable effects of nature leading to knowledge, and finally to enlightenment and a sense of peace.

In turn, Coleridge does an amazing job of creating a map of the environment of his imagination, leading us through different stages and boundaries of his through process through nature and history, and finally tying up the ultimate message he is trying to convey, which is one should be led to explore nature and be curious about its environment so as to lead to enlightenment and understanding, and one should not confined within the walls of society and subjected to believe what is ingrained.

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