The panel concludes their reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Christabel” by considering the function of Leoline’s overabundant grief, examining the nature of Geraldine’s magical influence, and speculating about possible conclusions to the poem.
CR Episode 20: Christabel, Part I
The panel welcomes James Smoker, a Coleridge scholar at the University of St. Andrews, to discuss Coleridge, Christian Theology, the British Romantics, and the first part of Christabel.
CR Episode 19: Coleridge’s Dream Poems
The panel discusses theological readings of three of Coleridge’s most famous poems, all of which share the occasion of sleep as central to their action: ‘Kubla Khan; or, the Vision in a Dream’; ‘The Pains of Sleep’; and, ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’.
CR Episode 18: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part II
The panel discusses the second half of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, with particular attention given to the theology of the Mariner’s sin, contrition, and absolution, and the relation of that theology to and within the Romantic conception of Nature.
CR Episode 17: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part I
The panel discusses the first three parts of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, proposing the Ancient Mariner as a figure in transition from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, and including overviews of Critical moves and an analogy to T. S. Eliot.
CR Episode 16: Lyrical Ballads, Part II
The panel begins to cross over from Wordsworth to Coleridge in the second of three episodes focused on Lyrical Ballads, addressing the role of nature, emotional state, and parenthood in both Wordsworth’s “The Mad Mother” and Coleridge’s “The Nightingale”.
CR Episode 15: Lyrical Ballads, Part I
The panel discusses Romanticism and begins a three-week examination of selected poems from Lyrical Ballads, the experimental collection by Wordsworth and Coleridge. This week’s selections are Wordsworth’s “The Female Vagrant” and “Tintern Abbey”.
CR Episode 14: Gray’s Elegy
As the panel continues the transition from the Augustans to the Romantics, they turn their attention to the notoriously self-critical Thomas Gray, who refused the Poet Laureateship and died at the age of fifty-four, leaving only thirteen published poems.
CR Episode 13: The Deserted Village
The panel continues its focus on the poetry of the Augustan era of British letters, this time examining Goldsmith’s poetic response to the increase of British wealth and the destruction posed by cultural shifts and legislation such as the Inclosure Acts.
CR Episode 12: Astræa Redux
Having concluded Paradise Lost, the panel moves from the poetry of Milton to the opposing views of one of his contemporaries, examining John Dryden, and his panegyric Astræa Redux, written to celebrate the restoration of Charles II to the throne.
CR Episode 11: Paradise Lost, Books XI and XII
The panel concludes Paradise Lost with an examination of Adam’s hope and despair, differences between Michael and Raphael, biblical kingship, the worthy triumph of Christ, and–finally–the quality of Milton as an author and Paradise Lost as a work.
CR Episode 10: Paradise Lost, Book X
The panel tackles the difficult problems of Adam’s guilt, the nature of heavenly justice and its parallels with English Common Law, Milton’s conception of the natural order, and Adam’s acceptance of guilt and act of contrition for the sin of disobedience.