Comparison of the Supernatural in Coleridge’s Kubla Khan and Christabel

3512 Words Mar 8th, 2012 15 Pages
Coleridge’s achievement as a poet rests on a small number of poems which can be divided into two diverse groups:- the daemonic group which consists of the three poems The Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan and the conversational group which includes the poems like The Eolian Harp, Frost At Midnight, the irregular ode Dejection and To William Wordsworth. The later poems Limbo and Ne Plus Ultra mark a kind of return to the daemonic mode. The poems of the daemonic group bring out Coleridge’s preoccupation with the imaginative, the occult and the supernatural.
Though pre-eminently a poet of the supernatural, Coleridge differs from the school of Gothic Romance in his treatment of the supernatural. Gothic writers like Horace Walpole,
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Further, a lucrative picture of the landscape is given showing the grounds that are reserved for the project and the entire area confined by walls and towers. On one peculiar green hill a chasm runs downward through, or across, a thicket of cedar trees in a sloping direction. This chasm is a central source of the supernatural in the poem. There are several things happening here and the arrangement of words show the mysterious nature of the place. Coleridge has used a sequence of appropriate adjectives to describe the place which cast a mysterious or sinister light on the place. The word ‘deep’ enhances the meaning of the word ‘chasm’; the word ‘romantic’ has associations like adventure, danger, mystery, love etc and the word ‘savage’ is particularly apt as it emphasizes the naturally wild and untamed spirit of the place. The three words used in this section in a single line to describe the place, ‘savage’, ‘holy and enchanted' , hint at mystical aspects and connection with religious or magic powers. In the next line a comparison is made using the word ‘as’ which associates the site with a haunted place, in this case, with a place that is visited frequently by a woman, or rather a woman's spirit, which establishes the scenery as a cursed place making it an ideal setting for a scene of forbidden longing love between humans and demonic powers- I quote, "By woman wailing for her demon lover…". Moreover, this eerie scene is set classically under waning moon