Kubla Khan and Duchess of Malfi (Poem/ Malfi Structure (Duchess of Malfi -…
Kubla Khan and Duchess of Malfi
Poem - was composed one night after an opium-influenced dream after reading a book describing Xanadu
Xanadu- A summer place of the Mongol ruler Kublai Khan
Inspired by Marco Polo's exploration of Xanadu
Poem was originally called "A vision in a Dream"
Interrupted by a person from Porlock, so Coleridge forgot his lines
Completed in 1797 but not published till 1816
Duchess of Malfi
Giovanna d'Aragona inspired by the historical event
Great chain of being- class was decided by birth
King James I - Protestant , from Mary Queen of Scots who left behind a divided country symbols I who was regarded as strong to James from Scotland bringing corruption to court
Poem/ Malfi Structure
The stanzas are different and fragmented , as it progresses from describing Xanadu to the "Abyssinian maid"
Link to Bosola speaking in Prose
His representation of class
Duchess of Malfi
- Is written as a play
First performed by the Kings Men at Blackfriars Theatre in 1614
Separated into Acts and Scenes
Reference to title 'visions' - Ferdinands insaity
First limes of the poem follow iambic tetrameter - represents stress
Link with any character in Malfi being stressed
"with walls and towers were girdled round"
Theme of Isolation , as Xanadu is isolated by walls. Coleridge feeling trapped- due to his addiction?
Bosola is trapped within society, and between Cardinal and Ferdinand.
"like plum trees that grow crooked/ o'erladen with fruit , but none but crows,pies and caterpillars feed on them"
Corruption - James I court, Coleridge feelings to the British government William Pitt
"haunted by Woman wailing for her demon lover"
"wailing" - distressing cry
Contextually link to how women are presented, feminist perspective could be angered. No name but 'woman' only mentioned because of sexual connotations
Link to Duchess, her 'demon lover' could be Ferdinand , but not in usual terms of love, instead sibling love. Ferdinand is a demon
Duchess of Malfi - typical signs of a revenge tragedy. A ghost haunts other characters, Duchess is seemed to be mentioned as a ghost as Antonio discovers in Act V . The "echo"
Coleridge could be warning others of himself, or true feelings
Antonio's superstition , child's nativity play
"Ancestral voices prophesying war"
Coleridge was known to express his opposition to the British government
Antonio + prophesies - Childs nativity
Link to "must we turn soldier then" - Cardinal Act III, Scene iii, could link to Jacobean society+Gunpowder plot
King James I and his witch hunts
"A damsel with a dulcimer"
"Dulcimer" musical instrument
Link to "madmen, this song is sung"
No hope or love
Represents hope and love, perhaps for Sara Hutchinson"
T. S. Eliot in The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933), have claimed the poem has no veritable meaning