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Explore the ways in which Coleridge presents the notion of family in 'Christabel'. The family of Sir Leoline is incomplete because his lady, the mother of his daughter, Christabel has died,

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Coleridge presents the notion of family in 'Christabel'. The family of Sir Leoline is incomplete because his lady, the mother of his daughter, Christabel has died, the lady is dearly missed by all in the house of Sir Leoline, even the "mastiff bitch" pins for her, "Sixteen short howls, not over loud; Some say she sees my lady's shroud." Christabel never met her mother because she died in child-birth, this causes Christabel deep sadness " - Woe is me! She died the hour I was born." and she wishes her mother was with her, "O mother dear! That thou wert here!" However Christabel believes that her mother is with her in the form of a "guardian spirit", that is until the spirit is threatened by the witch like character Geraldine who commands the spirit to be: "'Off, wandering mother! ...read more.

Middle

an without"; and she cares for him and respects him, when returning to the castle at night she instructs Geraldine to be quiet, "O softly tread", because "Sir Leoline is weak in health, and may not well awakened be, but we will move as in stealth." Sir Leoline's family is threatened by the presence of Geraldine, Coleridge hints at this when Geraldine first enters the home and Christabel notices that she is looking at the family crest "And Christabel saw the lady's eye, And nothing else saw she thereby, Save the boss of the shield of Sir Leoline tall, Which hung murky old niche in the wall." This comes after the family pet who is normally calm and never barks makes an angry sound as Geraldine passes "Yet she an angry moan did make! ...read more.

Conclusion

Coleridge conveys a message in his summary of the poem, "The Conclusion To Part II" that where there is so much love there will be even greater pain, "Upon his heart, that he at last Must needs express his love's excess With words of unmeant bitterness. Perhaps 'tis pretty to force together Thoughts so all unlike each other ; To mutter and mock a broken charm, To dally with wrong that does no harm. Perhaps 'tis tender too and pretty At each wild word to feel within A sweet recoil of love and pity. And what, if in a world of sin (O sorrow and shame should this be true !) Such giddiness of heart and brain Comes seldom save from rage and pain," ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Cruchley AS English Language and Literature Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1 - ...read more.

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