Christable by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Written by Samuel Coleridge in 1797, the union of Christabel and Geraldine, two women, was something uncommon to write about in the eighteenth century. By applying a gothic setting in his poem “Christabel”, it allowed Coleridge to explore the darker themes of sensuality, producing a distancing device to render the power of sexual and sinful actions. Christabel is also a reflection of Coleridge as he tried to seek a companionship and a relationship with someone who would give him a purpose in his writing. Coleridge’s Christabel revises the notion of the masculinized sublime. Christabel can be seen as the male partner in the ensuing relationship that develops, whereas Geraldine takes on the traditional female role. In this poem, he…show more content…
In most of 18th century gothic, the gothic villain’s eyes are regular describing as something malicious or evil, nesting uncanny power behind them. This evokes a feeling of the supernatural. Although Geraldine may appear powerless, we see distinct hints that she has profound power over the people that she encounters. There is a suggestion that the power is linked to the supernatural because of Geraldine’s ability is able to bend Christabel at her will, similar to a “vampiric” figure. There is the actual scene of both physical and mental seduction. Christabel is intrigued with Geraldine as she undresses. Christabel first undresses herself and lies on the bed, “And on her elbow did recline/ To look at the lady Geraldine” (line 455). Geraldine then lies in bed beside Christabel and seduces her: “And see! The lady Christabel/ Gathers herself from out her trance; Her limbs relax” (line 456). Geraldine uses the language of mastery subtly in order to seduce Christabel. Christabel’s conflict shifts from her struggle to maintain her innocence or satisfy her sexual desires. She is struggling for control between pleasure and disgust. After she had given in to her desires, she feels the pressure of what the typical norms of society and her morals expected her to have done. But, on the other hand, she feels satisfaction in the pleasure she had experienced. Christabel was able to repress her sexual desires until she found someone she could act out her sexual impulse on. Her

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