sex—text: "Christabel" and the Christabelliads – Romanticism on the Net – Érudit
The parody is a physically and sexually graphic reworking of the Christabel ( Christabess) and Geraldine (Adelaide) relationship. Christabess charges the. Even among critics who recognize the role of lesbianism in "Christabel," none But Geraldine's identity is far from clear, and we don't need to explain away the. theoretical model to understand Christabel's relationship with Geraldine and the fragmentary nature of the poem that obfuscates their relationship.
The air is whitened by some spell, For there is no moon, I know it well. Describing a cloud, for example, Hogg enacts the process of matching the cloud with a like object: There is a cloud that seems to hover, By western hill the church-yard over, What is it like? Following the player's rehearsal, the scene closes with a brief exchange between Polonius and Hamlet, as the madness-feigning prince stalls Polonius's message from Gertrude for an immediate interview: Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in the shape of a camel?
By th' mass and 'tis—like a camel indeed.
Methinks it is like a weasel. It is backed like a weasel. Or like a whale. Very like a whale. Then I will come to my mother by and by. The passage is typical of Hogg's style throughout "Isabelle"—as he pokes fun at, rather than scourges "Christabel" and Coleridge. A more sarcastic treatment of "Christabel" appeared in the June issue of Blackwood's. I laughed heartily at the continuation in Blackwood, which I have been told is by Maginn: Prompted by reports that the parody displeased him, Coleridge was eager to set the record straight: A very slight personal acquaintance with me would have enabled the Editor to take for granted that I should not be offended with the droll Christabelliad.
None of Mr O'Doherty's readers will peruse it with less pain, few with greater pleasure. I should indeed be wanting both to myself and to common-sense if I did not regard it as a compliment, and that of no ordinary kind, for, not to mention the names with which my own stands in juxtaposition, it would be strange if a man of O'Doherty's undoubted genius should have employed so much wit, humour, and general power of mind on a work wholly without worth or character.
Let only no poison of personal moral calumny be inserted, and a good laugh is a good thing; and I should be sorry by making a wry face, to transfer it from the Lady Christabel to myself. Thus I am wisest in my sleep, For thoughts and things, which day-light brings, Come to the spirit sad and single, But verse and prose, and joys and woes Inextricably mingle, When the hushed frame is silent in repose!
The dream metaphor and Coleridge's more general use of dreaming as an explanatory metaphor in Biographia Literaria informs Moir's sardonic attitude toward Coleridge's claims for compositions like "Kubla Khan" that came to him while sleeping.
A result of such dream-inspired composition is that Coleridge's writings are indecipherable, mixing prose and poetry unsuccessfully and "inextricably.
He scores the gothic opening of "Christabel" as a Babel-like cacophony that moves from the antiphonal exchange of tolling clock and clamouring animals to a lone lowing cow: That aged cow, as each stroke sounds slow, Answers it with a plaintive low! It is a strategy typical of "Christabel, Part Third" as Moir derides the mystery and suspense of Coleridge's poem by grounding the supernatural elements of "Christabel" in the banal and the ordinary.
But Moir's treatment of "Christabel" is also lascivious. There is a strong current of sexual scandal, as Christabel is impregnated by Geraldine who, we learn, is a man in disguise: As she wandered down the dell None said 'twas the lady Christabel.
Moir stands "Christabel" upon its head, closing the parody with a ghost-like Christabel: Does thou wander to the field of graves Where the elder its spectral branches waves? And will thy hurried footsteps halt Where thy mother sleeps in the silent vault?
A London journalist and poet, Deacon published two parodies of "Christabel. Indeed, the action of "The Baron Rich" is governed by these elements. The parody divides into two sections: The sections are separated by the "Song of the Old Bitch.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Christabel" - UI Victorian Wiki - UIowa Wiki
His interest in Coleridge's language is casual, presenting a loose allusional framework in which the diction of "Christabel" provides general points of reference for readers. Deacon's focus on Coleridge's language is more global than local.
His interest in the figures of "Christabel," however, is more highly refined. As he exaggerates the opening scene of "Christabel," Deacon offers an extended fight scene between the mastiff Bitch and Bard Bracey, who has been ordered outdoors to quiet the dog [Figure 3]: To make the old mastiff lie still in her straw. Murray, who has an eye, should suffer this 'mastiff bitch' to come into his shop. Is she a sort of Cerebus to fright away the critics?
But—gentleman, she is toothless. In "Christabel," the dog serves as a barometer of the supernatural—its growling while it sleeps functioning as a gauge of the potential presence of the otherworldly the ghost of Christabel's deceased mother.
In "The Baron Rich," the dog is itself otherworldly. Following the "Song of the Old Bitch," the dog "vanish'd" and re-appeared as Satan: In popp'd father Satan in shape of a cat. And he skipp'd thro' the key-hole with terrible pother, A match in one hand, and his tail in the other; And said to the Baron, with funeral glee, 'Come, leap thro' the window, and fly with me; For I'm the mastiff that kick'd up a rout, And my broomstick is waiting to carry you out.
An innocent woman struggling with evil inside of her? Gender Roles The dynamic between Christabel and Geraldine demonstrates an important motif in the poem. The presence of Geraldine in her bedroom seems to leave Christabel with a dilemma she is not familiar with. Her sexuality has never been an option, nor has it ever been called into question.
Christabel is very unsure about her feelings for Geraldine: Geraldine can be seen as a mirror image of Christabel, but a fallen one.
The actions of Geraldine indicate the opposite end of the spectrum for what Christabel could have turned out like without a maternal influence. Her father, Sir Leonline, influences the role Christabel plays.
He pushes his daughter away and directs his attention to Geraldine. By pursuing a sexual relationship with a younger woman, Sir Leonline seems to be fearful of losing his youth. He could be trying to recreate the life he had with his late wife.
Discussion Questions -What is the role of the maternal figure in this poem? Having a dream act as the catalyst for the entire poem certainly lends significance to the rest of the dreams in the poem. Furthering the importance of dreams in the poem is the unfinished, hazy nature of the work. One of the most important dreams in the poem, oddly enough, belongs to none of the main characters. Instead the dreamer is Bracy the Bard. He is infatuated with her and his interpretation of the dream seems to be exactly what she would want.
The informed reader would be wise to listen to the dreamer, Bracy, who knows the dove is a representation of Christabel. Regardless of how you interpret the dream, the Christian connotations of it are undeniable. Placing a green snake in a garden is very reminiscent of the story of Adam and Eve. If so, what evidence can you use to back that theory? Do you agree with Sir Leoline, that Geraldine is the innocent dove?
Christianity Along with the presence of good and evil in Christabel is the relation of these concepts to origin of good an evil as presented in Biblical literature.