Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence

John Beer

in Coleridge's Play of Mind

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574018
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723100 | DOI:
Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence

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Coleridge's spiritual crisis of 1813 and his subsequent reversion to traditional Christian doctrines, as recorded by Hannah More, prompt consideration of his lifelong feelings of guilt; his withdrawal from his College career and his enslavement by opium are considered, alongside the impression of innocence which he made on most people. His acquaintance with Elwyn leads to first reading of Leighton, reinforcement of his view of Reason, remorse at past heresies, and endorsement of Southey's views on forgiveness. Trinitarianism and the exact nature of evil remain unsolved problems; his later poems are still devoted to the exaltation of innocence, and its vulnerability at the hands of unabashed malignity.

Keywords: guilt; opium; Leighton; aids to reflection; innocence; late poetry; Southey; trinitarianism; Alice

Chapter.  6757 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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