Tragic Coleridge

Tragic Coleridge

by Chris Murray


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To Samuel Taylor Coleridge, tragedy was not solely a literary mode, but a philosophy to interpret the history that unfolded around him. Tragic Coleridge explores the tragic vision of existence that Coleridge derived from Classical drama, Shakespeare, Milton and contemporary German thought. Coleridge viewed the hardships of the Romantic period, like the catastrophes of Greek tragedy, as stages in a process of humanity's overall purification. Offering new readings of canonical poems, as well as neglected plays and critical works, Chris Murray elaborates Coleridge's tragic vision in relation to a range of thinkers, from Plato and Aristotle to George
Steiner and Raymond Williams. He draws comparisons with the works of Blake, the Shelleys, and Keats to explore the factors that shaped Coleridge's conception of tragedy, including the origins of sacrifice, developments in
Classical scholarship, theories of inspiration and the author's quest for civic status. With cycles of catastrophe and catharsis everywhere in his works, Coleridge depicted the world as a site of tragic purgation, and wrote himself into it as an embattled sage qualified to mediate the vicissitudes of his age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781409447542
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/28/2013
Edition description: 1
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Chris Murray is an IAS Junior Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies at Durham University. His research centres on Romanticism, and explores the dialogues British Romantic authors create with Classical literature, Irish studies, and Orientalism.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Romantic tragedy and tragic Romanticism; Coleridge’s tragic influences; Hamartia and suffering in the poetical works; The catastrophes of real life; The tragic ’impulse’: fragments and Coleridge’s forms of incompletion; The Lear vocation: Coleridge and Romantic theatre; The tragic sage; Failed sacrifices and the un-tragic Coleridge: Conclusion: ’The sage, the poet, lives for all mankind’, Bibliography, Index.

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