Millennialism and Apocalypse Thought in S. T. Coleridge and William Wordsworth's Poetics

analytical Essay
2892 words
2892 words

missing some works cited "Tintern Abbey": Millennialism and Apocalypse Thought in S. T. Coleridge and William Wordsworth's Poetics Storming of the Bastille 1789 [1] During and in the aftermath of the French Revolution, millennialist thought – independent of the myriad of economic and historical reasons for its precipitation – influenced many authors. Many people perceived the French Revolution as a foreshadowing of an Apocalypse that would usher in a new millenarian epoch, one levelling social distinctions between people and bringing about what was believed to be Christ's absolute rule. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was such a writer influenced by millennialist and apocalyptic belief in the late-eighteenth-century. His early writings and visions, such as in Religious Musings (1794-6), and Pantisocracy (1794), as well as his proposed communal experiment on the Susquehanna River in the United States, mark his belief in a millennium that would eliminate the social evils that he saw as detrimental to both individuals and the society in which he lived. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Revelations 6 : 1-8, detail from Albert Durer [4] The belief in millenarian and apocalyptic movements is one that was, and remains, today pervasive. Its origins are not entirely understood, but as Hillel Schwartz notes, "its root term, millennium, refers to a first-century eastern Mediterranean text, the Apocalypse of John or Book of Revelation." [2] Schwartz further notes that: "Among the world religions we can locate two constellations of millenarian thought about an epochal pulsing of time, one Zoroastrian-Jewish-Greek-Christian, the other Hindu-Buddist-Taoist-Confucian." [3] Broadly defined, it is: The belief that the end of the w... ... middle of paper ... ..., in Romanticism: An Anthology, with CD-ROM, 2nd ed. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000. [BACK] 11. Earl Leslie Griggs, Ed. Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956, 395, 397. [BACK] 12. Duncan Wu and David Miall, eds. Romanticism: An Anthology, with CD-ROM, 2nd ed. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000. ( 271). [BACK] 13. Ibid, 191. [BACK] 14. Ibid. [BACK] 15. Wordsworth, "There is an active principle" (1798), 9-11. [BACK] 16. Coleridge, quoted in Peterfreund, Stuart. "Coleridge and the Politics of Critical Vision." Critical Essays on Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Ed. Leonard Orr. New York, Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994, 39. [BACK] 17. Earl Leslie Griggs, Ed. Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. II. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956, 1013. [BACK] 18.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how samuel taylor coleridge was influenced by millennialist and apocalyptic belief in the late-eighteenth-century.
  • Explains that millennium refers to a first-century eastern mediterranean text, the apocalypse of john or book of revelation.
  • Analyzes the belief that the end of the world is at hand and that in its wake will appear a new world inexhaustibly fertile, harmonious, sanctified, and just.
  • Analyzes the influence of millenarian thought on coleridge's early life and writing. millennialism informs both his religious musings and pantisocracy.
  • Analyzes how coleridge's religious musings echo his early life apocalyptic-millenarian view, depicting the chaotic state of the late-eighteenth-century world, an "anarchy of spirits."
  • Opines that they will raise up a mourning, oh fiends, and curse your spells that film the eye of faith, hiding the present god whose presence is lost.
  • Analyzes how the sordid savage roams through courts and cities feeling himself, his own low self the whole, when he by sacred sympathy might make the whole one self.
  • Analyzes how coleridge's sensational and supernatural depictions of destruction and war are limited to his earlier poetry. calleo suggests that by the time the communal experiment of pantisocracy had come to a close, he lost much of his political idealism.
  • Analyzes how coleridge's shift to critic in "france: an ode" is marked by his reaction to the napolean invasion of switzerland in 1798
  • Opines that forgive me, freedom, o forgive those dreams! o france, that mockest heaven, adulterous, blind
  • Analyzes how coleridge is critical of france's denial of what he perceives as its mission to protect and champion the cause of the "freeman" and of "liberty."
  • Opines that the rulers of france are the same in all ages & under all forms of government: they are as bad as they dare be.
  • Opines that a man's character follows him long after he has ceased to deserve it, but they have snapped their squeaking baby-trumpet of sedition.
  • Analyzes how coleridge and wordsworth's vision of poetry in the lyrical ballads was to evoke the necessary new feelings and sentiments in their reading public to spur a millennial era.
  • Analyzes how wordsworth and coleridge believed that their poem could help bring about the millennium prophesied by st john the divine.
  • Analyzes how wordsworth's advertisement to the lyrical ballads reflects his desire to attain a language that could transcend the inaccessible "gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern writers."
  • Analyzes how wordsworth undercuts both the artifice of man-made education and social status based upon monetary affluence in the pedlar.
  • Explains that though poor in outward show, he was most rich: he had a world about him – 'twas his own, he made it'.
  • Opines that he had an eye which looked deep into the shades of difference as they lie hid in all exterior forms, near or remote, minute or vast – a eye which spake perpetual logic to his soul
  • Analyzes how wordsworth and coleridge mutually held in composing the lyrical ballads, locating the spiritual core of the human subject within nature and through nature to god, which spurred their reading world to eventually usher in christ's thousand year rule.
  • Opines that nature can inform the mind that is within us, so impress.
  • Analyzes how wye at new weir's "tintern" fuses his pantheistic vision of the "intercourse of daily life" with his implicit millenarian vision.
  • Analyzes how wordsworth's recurrent theme of poet as prophet illuminating god'
  • Opines that the darkest pit of the profoundest hell, night, chaos, death, nor aught of blinder vacancy can breed such fear and awe.
  • Analyzes how wordsworth's recluse and his and coleridge’s lyrical ballads are an implicit, early form of "liberation theology." "tintern abbey" is the poets' renewal of their reflective and moral consciousness.
  • Explains that coleridge's political thought: property, morality and the limits of traditional discourse.
  • Cites paley, morton d., peterfreund, stuart, and schwartz, hillel, in "coleridge and the politics of critical vision."
  • Cites wu, duncan and miall, david, eds. romanticism: an anthology, with cd-rom, oxford & malden, ma: blackwell, 2000.
  • Analyzes morton d. paley's "apocalypse and millennium in the poetry of coleridge."
  • Cites david p. calleo, earl leslie griggs, and david miall in romanticism: an anthology, with cd-rom, 2nd ed.
  • Quotes coleridge in peterfreund, stuart, "coleridge and the politics of critical vision."
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