The Paradoxical Nature of "Christabel" Analytical Essay by Hepkitty

The Paradoxical Nature of "Christabel"
Examines Henry Coleridge's ideas of soul development in his poem, "Christabel".
# 49239 | 3,176 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Feb 29, 2004 in Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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This paper focuses on the poem, "Christabel", by Henry Coleridge, and demonstrates how the Romantics, and especially Coleridge, believed that by presenting paradoxes in literature, the reader will be forced to think and inherently grow. The paper shows that the paradoxical nature of Coleridge's "Christabel" makes the reader reach what Coleridge calls "a reconciliation of opposites." The contradictions in the first part of the poem create a raw agitation and force the reader to increase his or her perceptions in order to search for a conclusion.

From the Paper:

"However, Christabel's act of leaving the castle is suspicious because one cannot have impure thoughts while in a castle. Virginia Radley states: "What [Christabel] is doing in the forest had been explained, though why she felt it necessary to leave the castle to pray has not been" (68). Christabel's ties to her "knight" are as ambiguous as her reasons for interacting with the mystical "night;" has she naively left the castle so that she can be closer to nature and God while praying, or is Christabel hoping that her mind will drift into a sinful, imaginary sexual encounter? A conclusion cannot be made about Christabel's character without considering the obscurity of the passage."

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