Analysis of a Romantic Poem "Kubla Khan" by Coleridge


Having an obsession with literary but not able to analyze a poem? Do not worry, we will help you to investigate one of the most romantic poems in English literature and get the task done today!

A poem was written in 1797 but never finished. Its another name is “A Vision in a Dream” which precisely describes the conditions in which it has been composed. The mysterious interruption only adds to its fantastic plot, as the whole poem is said to be composed during the author’s sleep (with the help of opium) and when Coleridge woke up he wrote it down with an exception of the last lines which he forgot. So, let’s take a closer look at such an intriguing poem!

Peculiarities of the Composition of Poem

Before getting into the very content, we would like to observe those mysterious objects that created the whole atmosphere of this poem and led it to success through centuries till today.

The Main Character

The main character is a historical personality, namely a king of China, who was ruling the Yuan Emperor, which he basically founded too. Also, named as a great khan of the Mongols. Why him? Why was it this personality, whose adventures were depicted in the poem of an English author? The main reason is, naturally, a great interest of Coleridge to the life of Kubla Khan, who was ruling China as the author of a poem got really into the place Xanadu about which he wrote afterwards.

Person from Porlock

A great eternally disputable thought about the man who came to Coleridge and restrained him from writing his last lines has got its own label in today’s world – the figure which precisely reflects an interruption of creativity. Why did he come? Who was he and was he for real or simply the rests of opium’s activity of the author? Porlock was just a village somewhere in England near which Coleridge was living. We must acknowledge Coleridge’s skills of impressing the readers as this simple detail played a significant role in the poem’s popularity.

Xanadu – a Summer Capital

A so-called pleasure-dome which is considered to be Kubla Khan’s residence for the summer period. The author gives a description of it in the beginning of the poem so that we can freely enjoy the wealth and luxury of it without seeing but imagining. The reason why Coleridge was so fascinated by this Empire is that it was brightly described by Marco Polo.

Thoughts About a Poem


So, what is special about this poem? First of all, we observe a great example of a poetry from Romantics. The main aim of such poets was to describe the nature and the world around them, using traditional images of the English literature.

Just think of it: he wrote about a place he has never seen in real life but read about it. Everything happens only in his imagination but he succeeds in letting us have a glance into his dreams. A poem of a person (under drugs) but with a great talent of a writer and philosopher.

Meanwhile, we can also recall a “damsel with a dulcimer”, another character within the poem who was depicted as an intention for some onset of pure musical esthetics and, alas, this part was not developed till the very end of the poem. As well as taste senses, allusion of milk and honey paradise, we can observe the collaboration between all sight, taste and smell senses in the poem to be felt.

All in all, such a profound idea had mostly an outer value, due to the conditions of its composing, but we cannot deny its magnificent beauty which charms with its intriguing atmosphere.

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