Biographia Literaria is a significant literary work by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published in 1817. Here we have provided Biographia Literaria S.T Coleridge Chapter 14 Summary:
Table of Contents
- I. Introduction
- II. Coleridge’s view on poetry
- III. The Function of Poetry
- IV. The Concept of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief”
- V. Philosophical Aspects of Poetry
- VI. Conclusion
Biographia Literaria is a significant literary work by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published in 1817. The work is a combination of literary criticism, autobiography, and philosophical discussions on the nature of poetry. In chapter fourteen of Biographia Literaria, Coleridge elaborates on his views regarding the essence and function of poetry. This blog will discuss Coleridge’s view on poetry, the power of imagination in poetry, and the role of poetry in society.
B. Thesis Statement
Coleridge’s views on poetry emphasize the importance of imagination, the power of the poet to convey complex ideas, and the role of poetry in society as a source of pleasure and an agent of change.
II. Coleridge’s view on poetry
A. Poetry as a form of art
According to Coleridge, poetry is a form of art that transcends everyday reality and expresses the innermost thoughts and emotions of the poet. He believed that poetry should not be limited to the mere depiction of external objects but should also be an expression of the inner world of the poet.
B. The power of imagination in poetry
Coleridge placed great importance on the role of imagination in poetry. He believed that the imagination was the most important faculty of the human mind, and poetry was the highest expression of the imagination. He believed that imagination enabled poets to create new and unique images and ideas, which could not be found in everyday life.
C. Poetry as an expression of the poet’s thoughts and emotions
Coleridge believed that poetry was a reflection of the poet’s thoughts and emotions, and the poet’s experiences influenced the creation of their poems. He believed that the poet’s personal experiences, such as their relationships, memories, and dreams, could be conveyed through their poetry.
III. The Function of Poetry
A. The role of poetry in society
Coleridge believed that poetry had an essential role in society. He argued that poetry could serve as an agent of change by challenging conventional thinking and promoting new ideas. He believed that poetry could inspire people to think critically about their beliefs and values, and could ultimately lead to social and political change.
B. Poetry as a means of communicating complex ideas
Coleridge believed that poetry could communicate complex ideas in a way that was accessible to everyone. He believed that poetry could convey abstract concepts and emotions through the use of metaphor and imagery and that poetry could help people understand and appreciate the complexities of the human experience.
C. Poetry as a source of pleasure
Finally, Coleridge believed that poetry was a source of pleasure for readers and writers alike. He believed that poetry could provide readers with a sense of emotional and intellectual fulfilment, and that writing poetry could be a source of personal satisfaction for poets.
Coleridge’s views on poetry emphasize the importance of imagination, the power of the poet to convey complex ideas, and the role of poetry in society as a source of pleasure and an agent of change. His ideas have influenced generations of poets and continue to shape our understanding of the nature and function of poetry today.
IV. The Concept of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief”
The concept of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” is one of the most important ideas in Coleridge’s view of poetry. Coleridge defines this concept as the ability of the reader to put aside their disbelief and accept the fantastic elements presented in poetry as real for the duration of their reading. In other words, the reader willingly chooses to believe the impossible and fantastical elements presented in the poem for the sake of enjoyment and understanding. This concept is important because it allows the poet to express their thoughts and ideas through the use of imaginative and fantastical elements that would otherwise be impossible to convey.
Examples of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” can be found in many works of poetry. For instance, in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s own poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the reader is asked to accept the supernatural elements of the poem, such as the appearance of a ghostly ship and the resurrection of dead sailors. The reader suspends their disbelief and accepts these fantastical elements as part of the poem’s story, allowing them to fully appreciate the poem’s underlying themes and messages.
V. Philosophical Aspects of Poetry
Coleridge’s philosophy of imagination is central to his view of poetry. According to Coleridge, imagination is the source of creativity and is essential to the creation of great poetry. Coleridge believed that imagination was a divine gift that allowed humans to create and understand beauty and that it was closely linked to reason.
Furthermore, Coleridge believed that imagination and reason were not mutually exclusive but rather complementary. He saw the imagination as the creative force that enabled humans to see beyond the mundane and grasp higher truths, while reason was the rational, logical part of the mind that enabled humans to understand and analyze those truths.
Coleridge believed that poetry had an important role to play in exploring philosophical ideas. He saw poetry as a means of expressing complex ideas and emotions that could not be easily conveyed through prose. Poetry could also be used to explore abstract philosophical concepts and to challenge readers to think deeply about their beliefs and values.
In conclusion, Coleridge’s view of poetry was a complex and multifaceted one. He saw poetry as a form of art that was intimately linked to the imagination and the expression of the poet’s thoughts and emotions. He also believed that poetry had an important role to play in society, both as a means of communicating complex ideas and as a source of pleasure. Finally, Coleridge’s concept of “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” remains an essential part of his view of poetry, allowing readers to fully appreciate the imaginative and fantastical elements that make poetry such a powerful and enduring art form.
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