Critical Analysis of Kubla Khan by S.T. Coleridge

1627 Words Sep 25th, 2004 7 Pages
In the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge, language is used to convey images from Coleridge's imagination. This is done with the use of vocabulary, imagery, structure, use of contrasts, rhythm and sound devices such as alliteration and assonance.

By conveying his imagination by using language, the vocabulary used by Coleridge is of great importance. The five lines of the poem Kubla Khan sound like a chant or incantation, and help suggest mystery and supernatural themes of the poem. Another important theme of the poem is that of good versus evil. The vocabulary used throughout the poem helps convey these themes in images to the reader. In the first two lines, Coleridge describes the 'pleasure dome' in Xanadu. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a
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However, in this poem, the inspiration hasn't quite hit Coleridge yet, that is until the images of the moon and the women come into his mind. Soon after they are mentioned, "a mighty fountain" emerges and Coleridge's imagination process seems to have been triggered. These images in the second stanza speak high volumes in the creative process. By just panning his own made-up land, Coleridge had a vision of something that automatically set off his mind to help it write that much easier. Now the imagination can flow endlessly to wherever the writer wants to go. And it is now clear that art is made up of several fragments that are expressed easier by having numerous visions described through out the poem. Coleridge uses images such as a waning moon was haunted by a woman wailing for her demon lover

This image of a woman bound to evil brings the dark side of the supposed utopia to light. The peace and serenity is contrasted by the violent disorder of the river and the threat of war. The use of language in the contrasting images helps convey to the reader the extent of Coleridge's imagination.

There are images of two women in the poem and they are a direct contrast to each other, one representing evil, and the Abyssinian maid exotic and beautiful. Yet the poem is a good example of appearances being deceptive. The 'pleasure dome' may be beautiful with its bright 'sunny'

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