Examples Of Allegory In Kubla Khan

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The Mind of a Poet: the Allegory in “Kubla Khan” A grand description of a mystical landscape, “Kubla Khan” is a hypnotic poem that combines exoticism and orientalism to create a sort of dreamland which Coleridge claims to have envisioned during an opium high. Its references to China and Ethiopia and its description of the tumultuous path of a great river and the ballade of an Abyssinian damsel, aid in setting this poem far away from Great Britain and into a world of the unknown. However this description of Samuel Coleridge’s poem is merely superficial. Beneath its grandeur, there are several references, to the poem itself and to the poet who is composing it. These references are weaved throughout the work to the effect of turning what initially …show more content…
As the river flows through the chasm “with ceaseless turmoil seething” (Kubla Khan 461, ln. 17) a fountain “amid whose swift half-intermitted burst huge fragments like rebounding hail” (Kubla Khan 461, ln. 20-1); this imagery is not only forceful in nature but even orgasmic. The poet’s river of thought goes through such states of turmoil and ecstasy as the imagination progresses that it is like a violent bursting forth of hail from a fountain of the earth. It even suggests sudden spurts of pleasure and pain instead of a continuous feeling. The river keeps flowing but is interrupted by these forces intermittently. Following the river’s path further it seems to be taking up momentum and as it reaches the end of its journey the image of the sublime becomes more intense. In lines 23-24, the river “mid these dancing rocks at once…flung up momently” (Kubla Khan) which is a more violent image than a fountain spewing hail. The river comes up over the rocks of the shore and is described to have flung itself up on the shore which carries forceful tone. The river is then said to have “meandering in a mazy motion” (Kubla Khan 461, 25) found its way to the end and “sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean” (Kubla Khan 461, ln. 28). Once again this image is violent and orgasmic. The river is bashing itself up on the rocks and is no longer flowing but meandering in what Coleridge says is a “mazy motion”. This scene is chaotic and comes to a sort of peak when it finally reaches the sea, but even then, it meets the sea tumultuously. Only then is the river finally quiet when it meets the sea. The sea is described as lifeless which starkly contrasts the other motion going on in the stanza. This whole course that the river has taken during Stanza 2 has shown the course of the poets mind as his imagination, under inspiration, creates this vision before

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