The Dungeon - Key Quotes

1. Coleridge uses punctuation such as, 'loathsome plague-spot;', 'their best cure!' and, 'what if guilty?' in the first stanza of The Dungeon to what avail?

  • So that the poem stays close to its rhyme scheme without loosing meaning.
  • To create a more difficult structure for his common readership so that, by contrast, his simpler seconds stanza - about nature - will seem more appealing to them.
  • To increase the sophistication of his argument to impress his readership and win them to his side.
  • The show his passion for the subject.
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Other questions in this quiz

2. 'Merciful God?' can be seen as ironic because...

  • Coleridge's use of lexicon and punctuation reminds a religious audience - at the time - that a system based on the bible is entirely devoid of God and religious teachings.
  • All of these things.
  • Coleridge's use of punctuation questions god's mercy.
  • It ambiguously extends the previous question whilst subtly questioning god's status as omni-benevolent.

3. 'Till he relent, and can no more endure To be a jarring and dissonant thing ... His angry spirit healed and harmonised By the benignant touch of love and beauty.' Is Coleridge's summation that nature should be used in the rehabilitation of prisoners.

  • False, Coleridge didn't believe in rehabilitation.
  • True. Although the Romantic movement did also advocate religion as a tool for rehabilitating prisoners.
  • False, it simply supports the romantic belief that nature posses restorative powers, Coleridge did't believe in its use to rehabilitate prisoners.
  • False, Coleridge believed that religion was the best way to rehabilitate prisoners.

4. The type of alliteration used in, 'parching poverty' to emphasise the horrific conditions of 18th century prisons is called what?

  • Plosive alliteration.
  • Consonance.
  • Fricative alliteration.
  • Assonance.

5. 'O nature! Healest thy wandering and distempered child: ... Amid this general dance and minstrelsy; ... [he] wins back his way' would be a good quote to support which point?

  • Coleridge introduces a rhyme scheme in the second stanza.
  • Other readers disagree that this is Coleridge's intention with his use of punctuation as it does not change in the second stanza. Which of these quotes best supports that?
  • Coleridge simplifies his punctuation in the seconds stanza; as compared to the first.
  • Coleridge was an advocate of the Bloody Code and the penal system before the penal reform of the late 18th century.


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