The Dungeon - Key Quotes

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1. What quote would support the Romantic belief that regardless of a person's actions, they are entitled to a certain level of basic human kindness. This quote also expresses a concern for the punishment than an individual would undergo for their crimes

  • 'Loathsome plague-spot;'
  • 'Is this the only cure? Merciful God?'
  • 'and what if guilty?'
  • '... most innocent, perhaps'
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2. 'dance', 'minstrelsy', 'healed', 'harmonised' and, 'wins' are part of a positive semantic field in the second stanza that juxtaposes the negative semantic field of the first stanza.

  • False, it juxtaposes the sceptical tone that Coleridge adopts when talking about God and religion in the first stanza.
  • True, it juxtaposes the negative semantics of stanza one in order to contrast the effects of the penal system and the effects of nature and god. However, the way in which Coleridge embraces the power of God can be seen as contradictory.
  • False, it doesn't directly juxtapose Coleridge's lexical choices in the first stanza, but it does present god as being omnipotent and benevolent.
  • True.

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.

  • True. Although the Romantic movement did also advocate religion as a tool for rehabilitating prisoners.
  • False, Coleridge believed that religion was the best way to rehabilitate 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 didn't believe in rehabilitation.

4. 'stagnate', 'corrupt', 'poison', 'friendless solitude', 'groaning', 'tears', 'uncomfortable', 'dismal twilight', 'savage' and, 'dungeon' form a semantic field that is best described as what?

  • All of these.
  • Negative.
  • Macabre cinematic imagery.
  • The effects of an absence of nature.

5. 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?

  • The show his passion for the subject.
  • 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.
  • So that the poem stays close to its rhyme scheme without loosing meaning.
  • To increase the sophistication of his argument to impress his readership and win them to his side.


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