Romanticism Themes

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Perhaps the most notable example of the emphasis on dreams and visions in romantic literature is Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" (1816), which he claimed to have "written" during a dream while deeply asleep. While transcribing the lines from his dream, he was interrupted by a visitor, and later claimed that if this interruption had not occurred, the poem would have been much longer. The idea that a person could compose poetry while asleep was commonplace among romantics. Although critics at the time were not particularly enthusiastic about "Kubla Khan," no one thought to question whether it was possible for someone to dream such a long poem.

Coleridge was not the only poetic dreamer in his time. John Milton also claimed to have received inspired verses while sleeping, and Keats, like others, believed that poets were endowed with a special gift to translate dreams into words. In addition...

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This section contains 725 words
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Buy the Romanticism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Romanticism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.