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Coleridge's Play of Mind$
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John Beer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574018.001.0001

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Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence

Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence

(p.187) 14 Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence
Coleridge's Play of Mind

John Beer

Oxford University Press

Coleridge's spiritual crisis of 1813 and his subsequent reversion to traditional Christian doctrines, as recorded by Hannah More, prompt consideration of his lifelong feelings of guilt; his withdrawal from his College career and his enslavement by opium are considered, alongside the impression of innocence which he made on most people. His acquaintance with Elwyn leads to first reading of Leighton, reinforcement of his view of Reason, remorse at past heresies, and endorsement of Southey's views on forgiveness. Trinitarianism and the exact nature of evil remain unsolved problems; his later poems are still devoted to the exaltation of innocence, and its vulnerability at the hands of unabashed malignity.

Keywords:   guilt, opium, Leighton, aids to reflection, innocence, late poetry, Southey, trinitarianism, Alice

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