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Ancient Mariner

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Introduction

How important was Imagination to the Romantic Poets? Refer to 'Ancient Mariner', 'The Nightingale' and 'Tintern Abbey'. To the Romantics, the imagination was a quality and that it belongs to everyone, not to a certain people. They believed that imagination is what made life interesting or beautiful, as it shaped our destiny and especially our personality. This is seen in three poems the 'Ancient Mariner', 'The Nightingale' and 'Tintern Abbey'. These three poems use imagination, in different ways to appeal to the reader. Furthermore, these poems use imagination, to connect to other themes of the poems together such as truth, nature and the divine pathway. Wordsworth uses 'Tintern Abbey', to show that the natural scenes of beauty implant themselves in the human memory and they feed the imagination, they are keeping it healthy: "These forms of beauty have not been to me/As is a landscape to a blind man's eye". ...read more.

Middle

and arranges them in a pattern to create new meanings. The memory works with the imagination and can unlock semi-divine powers. The Romantics defied the imagination. The creative process echoes God's creation of Earth and man. The 'Ancient Mariner' implies that the albatross is a symbol of imagination; able to transcend the physical into the metaphysical 'as it were a Christian soul'. The killing of the albatross represents the Mariner's ignorance i.e. rest of society saw imagination as passive 'From the fiends that plague thee thus/I shot the Albatross'. Coleridge saw it as active and recognised its power. This poem is a voyage of Coleridge's imagination; it gives scope to prove its conscious and the 'silent screams'. He believed that imagination is an education to all of mankind, as it can help us escape our problems. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also it represents the druidic priestess, which is imaginative in its own concept, as it is used in myths. Humanity loses oneself in the imagination and it is pleasure or beauty that is accessed and Coleridge deifies the creative power. Imagination has the power to shape both the conscious and subconscious; we solve our own miseries through imagination. The word 'Philomela' is used as it is from the Greek myth when humanity shall become like birds, the ability to access the sublime or the imagination like the Greek Princess Philomela. Overall, The Romantics did not treat the imagination as being passive, but thought of it as close to God as possible. They believed that if we can understand it, then we can try to understand everything around us. They are also implying that without the imagination, we wouldn't have solved any of our problems. They also believed that the imagination was something that linked humanity together both consciously and unconsciously. ...read more.

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