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Discuss supernatural/demonic femininity as we encounter it in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Christabel and John Keats's Lamia - Essay Example

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Complete Discuss supernatural/demonic femininity as we encounter it in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Christabel” and John Keats’s “Lamia”. On close reading the essential portions of the poems “Christabel” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and “Lamia” by John Keats, readers are apparently brought to perceive each poet’s understanding of woman’s femininity in the light of finding beauty that exudes angelic innocence and temptation that conceals demonic treachery…
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Discuss supernatural/demonic femininity as we encounter it in Samuel Taylor Coleridges Christabel and John Keatss Lamia
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Discuss supernatural/demonic femininity as we encounter it in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Christabel and John Keats's Lamia

Woods, snake or serpent, and silken objects, for instance, embody the ‘bad’ and ‘good’ alike in the feminine characters of Christabel, Geraldine, and Lamia. Through Coleridge’s “Christabel”, we initially come across a scene which depicts the howling of the female mastiff at twelve midnight and Coleridge must have chosen the dog’s gender on purpose as the role of the mastiff appears symbolic of a typical woman’s keen intuition. Then the only daughter of the baron Sir Leoline comes into the woods to figure resolve for the vision of her lover in a dream through prayer and this is evident in the lines “She had dreams all yesternight / Of her own betrothed knight; / And she in the midnight wood will pray / For the weal of her lover that’s far away.” At this stage, we become acquainted to the immediate nature of Christabel’s femininity which is exhibited via the attachment of Christabel to faith or belief of spiritual entity in her prayerful attitude. As a feminine person, she must be aware of the limits of her physical strength and on this ground, we understand the reason we can expect her to rely chiefly upon the aid derived from the world of spirits. Christabel might be assumed to suppose that there emerges no significant power of her own to address the prevailing situation in which the illness of her baron father could potentially put to risk a kind of leadership that most likely requires to a scrupulous command of a masculine figure. Moreover, she prays by the oak tree at the thought of the knight to whom she is engaged and this behavior typifies womanhood capable of gaining comfort in establishing more steadfast prayerfulness since women are generally vulnerable to romance. Upon the arrival of Geraldine in the cold dim forest as indicated by the moment Christabel hears a bleak moaning sound which could not possibly come from the wind for “There is not wind enough in the air / To move away the ringlet curl / From the lovely lady’s cheek -- ”, the speaker in third person expresses the manner by which the baron’s daughter catches sight of her. This scenario is justified in the text where, according to the speaker, “There she sees a damsel bright, / Drest in a silken robe of white, / That shadowy in the moonlight shone: / The neck that made that white robe wan, / Her stately neck, and arms were bare; / Her blue-veined feet unsandl’d were, / And wildly glittered here and there / The gems entangled in her hair.” It turns out, Geraldine is a picture of perfect beauty and being, at this point, fairer than Christabel, the latter shifts to the level of femininity that momentarily allows some personal weakness to escape for she needs to be strong in order to rescue the other maiden whom she learns were abducted by five warriors who had forced their way to consume her chastity despite her anxiety and utter reluctance. Eventually, Geraldine becomes perceived as a defiled creature whose experience with rough men causes a great deal of disgrace on her womanhood and her wretched case ought to be a look of pity in the eyes of moral standards. Though it makes her feminine by convention not to have fought nor released herself from palfrey and repelled the ... Read More
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