He took part in the first generation of romantic poets.
He worked with Wordsworth in "Lyrical ballads".
He was also a critic: he wrote "Biographia literaria".
He appreciates Shakespeare's characters. He analyzes Hamlet's psychology. The author is cha 323e47d rmed by his hesitations and by the fact that Shakespeare is emphasizing the world of uncertainties. Hamlet has "a world in himself"; he's the representative of human complexity. There is a tune between romantic sensibility and the sensibility written by Shakespeare.
He was an opium addicted (drug is helping his inspiration)
Heb strongly believe in God (he was Christian, he believes that nature is the reflection of God in the world) but he was also influenced by the Greek philosopher Plato and by German philosophy.
From Plato he derived the idea that the real world is only the imperfect reflection of the world of ideas. So the knowledge cannot derive from senses, but from reason
From Kant he acquires that empiricist knowledge (based on perceptions) was insufficient compared to the real knowledge of the intellect, or reason.
Coleridge's task is different from the Wordsworth's one: he wants to take out the supernatural aspects that are indeed present in our everyday life.
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
It is a ballad (characteristics: length, dialogue, musicality). This kind of poetic work was deduced from the medieval period; But Coleridge introduced a novelty: his ballads have a message (medieval ballads are shorter and they don't have a final message, they are focused on musicality)
The ballad starts in "medias res": an Ancient Mariner meets a wedding guest and he stops him to tell a story. He starts to describe his trip in the wide ocean. The ship was driven by a storm toward the South Pole and met a fog bank caused by the snow. An albatross (the bird of good omen) followed the ship as it returned northward through the fog and floating ice. Unexpectedly the Ancient Mariner killed the albatross and the shipmates had a bad reaction crying out against the crime. But suddenly the fog cleared and the crew changed his ideas. While they were coming toward the line the albatross started to have his revenge: "water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink". The water became full of disgusting creatures. A phantom ship met the Mariner's one: in the phantom ship there were two allegorical characters, two specters, "Death" and "Life-in-Death" playing dice. "Life-in-Death" wins the Mariner's soul. The other sailors die. The Mariner was lived alone and he cannot sleep and the eyes of his shipmates-died were fixed on him. Gradually he starts to appreciate the disgusting living things as God's creatures. At the end of the poem the Mariner is exalting the respect for life and for all things that God made and loved.
The story of the origin of a sin: the mystery behind every murder. Why the Mariner killed the albatross? We don't know.
We have to love and respect every God's creature (final message).
Robert Wharen (an interpret) is putting in light that all positive events are happening under the Moon and all negative events under the Sun.
The wedding guest is a witness of a pact of love between the bride and the bridegroom.
a parallelism between the Ancient Mariner and Macbeth: forces of evil are
moving into Macbeth's soul (he's passive). "Macbeth has murder sleep" (
The Mariner is an overreacher ( there's a parallelism with Shelley's characters, Frankenstein and Captain Walton): he went against nature killing the albatross.
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