Coleridge And The Concept Of Journeys

3549 words - 14 pages

How has your understanding of the concept of Journey been shaped by the two poems This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, Frost at Midnight and the techniques used by the composer?The concept of journey is one which is easily generalized, and can be easily manipulated to be revealed in a variety of texts through thematic interpretation and technique. The extensive grasp of the concept of journey can perhaps be explained through the understanding that the journey involves three focus natures, that of the inner journey, the imaginative journey and the physical journey. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834) explores these three sub-concepts comprehensively within the texts, This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison and Frost at Midnight. Thus the responder's comprehension of the concept of journey is shaped significantly by the composer's techniques and content expressed within the works, and eventually evokes a certain empathy within the responder to experience if not the journey which Coleridge undertakes, but the emanations undergone during the journey.The thematic contrasts that Coleridge portrays within This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison are effective in their shaping of the responder's conception of journey, in that the underlying implication of the movement or development from confinement to liberation is visualized to be accepted a factor involved in the journey. Coleridge's physical confinement, as well as mental is immediately denoted by the reference of 'prison' in the title, as an impression of negativity and isolation is created. The poet's state of mind is evident, as he focuses heavily not that which he should be grateful for, but only what he lacks, which currently is freedom, the theme revealed in later stages of the text. His irrationality is exposed in his woeful claim that he has 'lost, Beauties and feelings, such would have been/Most sweet to my remembrance even when age/Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness!' yet he continues to reminisce bitterly, whilst his memories pain him more than comfort, and he still wishes to have more memories for later. This general pain and melodrama, depicted as Coleridge begins to fret that not only has he failed to attend today's outing, but he shall 'never more meet again' his friends, shapes the general impression to the responder that journeys of significance must be initiated with pain or a general dissatisfaction. The sense of confinement is further underscored with the introduction of another location into the text, that of Charles Lamb's home in the City. The poet clearly sympathizes with his friend, and it is in this emotion that Coleridge begins to relinquish his self pity and view the possibilities and positive side of his situation.Yet the contrast is divulged in Coleridge's portrayal of the development of this theme of physical confinement to mental liberation in This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, which influences the understanding of the concept of journey that the journey requires a development of character or...

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