The Dungeon - Key Quotes

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1. 'Is this the only cure?' references what aspect of 1700's society?

  • The belief that nature has healing properties.
  • The conditions and medical issues caused by the standard of prisons.
  • The focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation within the Penal System.
  • The death penalty as a form of punishment for crimes; the Bloody Code.
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2. In the second stanza, Coleridge talks directly to nature; personifying it. Which of the following quotes would best support the argument of Pantheism?

  • 'Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;'
  • 'Healest thy wandering and distempered child'
  • 'Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters'
  • 'O nature!'

3. '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.

4. 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?

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

5. '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.

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