Portends of Ill-Gotten Plans in Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' and 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

2525 WordsFeb 3, 201810 Pages
Portends of ill-gotten plans Samuel Taylor Coleridge is widely regarded as one of the most prominent English poets and, with William Wordsworth, helped to found the Romantic Movement. Among two of his most well-known poetic works are Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Kubla Khan's notoriety is partly due to the fact that the poem was written while Coleridge was under the influence of opium. The drug's influence on Coleridge is apparent in the poem's style, which not only gives insight into Coleridge's state of mind, but also gives the poem an overall dreamlike quality. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is also said to have been written while Coleridge was under the influence of opium. Like Kubla Khan, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner also contains many elements that give the poem a dreamlike feel. There are several overarching themes that are encompassed by the poems Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner including supernatural phenomena, conflict, and prophecy. In writing Kubla Khan, Coleridge was influenced by Sir William Jones's "A Hymn to Ganga," referencing the work in his notebooks and in a letter that was written to John Thelwall (Cannon 137). Kubla Khan echoes Jones's work; for instance, Kubla Khan's "Ancestral voices prophesying war!" echoes Jones's "bards his wars and truth proclaim" with an additional echo seen in Kubla Khan's "A mighty fountain momently was forced" echoing "from a fiery cave the bubbly crystal flows" (Coleridge 30, 19; Jones
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