Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Ambiguous by Definition

In their Lyrical Ballads, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth experimented with traditional forms by interpreting them in a fresh manner. Although they garnered little attention upon their publication, the Ballads stepped outside of the established boundaries concerning not only meter and form but subject matter and tone as well. Coleridge made use of four-foot couplets and ambiguous themes alike to contribute to the air of mystery and controversy in his various works. Coleridge differs from his colleague Wordsworth's writings which depict the natural world with poems which focus mainly upon the supernatural. However, while Wordsworth attempted to uncover the remarkable aspects that could be found in the natural order of things, Coleridge tried to place the supernatural within the confines of reality, thereby making it more realistic. In his poem Christabel, he seeks to combine the supernatural with the natural by juxtaposing the fantastic within a realistic context. Coleridge introduces a supernatural presence, Geraldine, into the realistic world, thereby heightening her fantastic nature by contrasting her with Christabel, the natural figure.

Coleridge combines the supernatural with the natural to blur the...

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