855 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2016
  2. www.poetryfoundation.org www.poetryfoundation.org
    1. And life is thorny; and youth is vain; And to be wroth with one we love Doth work like madness in the brain.

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, thorny can be described as painful or hurtful--to "prick" emotion. The definition for wroth is to "have deep anger or resentment." Thus, the speaker makes more comparisons here. Life is hurtful, but in youth, we only see ourselves. We eventually grow older and learn to hate those we love--which works like madness in the brain and destroys us slowly. Leoline and his friend used to be like brothers, but life tore them apart and made them hate one another. Both of them haven't been the same since.

    2. But Christabel in dizzy trance Stumbling on the unsteady ground Shuddered aloud, with a hissing sound; And Geraldine again turned round, And like a thing, that sought relief, Full of wonder and full of grief, She rolled her large bright eyes divine Wildly on Sir Leoline.

      It almost seems as if Geraldine, in this moment, takes hold of Christabel and possesses her. Geraldine figuratively becomes the snake of the speaker's dream. With success, she takes hold of Christabel while still manipulating Christabel's father. Then--a stark contrast--she rolls her bright eyes divine onto Leoline himself, who has no idea what's going on. She is plotting her next victim by seeming as divine as she did with Christabel.

    3. I stooped, methought, the dove to take, When lo! I saw a bright green snake Coiled around its wings and neck. Green as the herbs on which it couched, Close by the dove's its head it crouched; And with the dove it heaves and stirs, Swelling its neck as she swelled hers!

      In a Biblical sense, snakes usually represent evil, slyness, and deceitfulness. Snakes, as referred to in Genesis, occur during temptation tactics. Doves, on the other hand, represent peace and love. If the narrator dreams of a snake choking a dove, then the snake must have won. Deceitfulness and delusion won against a potential time of peace. This directly relates to Geraldine, who has disrupted the peace in Christabel's life.

    4. 'Thy words, thou sire of Christabel, Are sweeter than my harp can tell;

      The mention of the word "harp" is interesting, since Coleridge wrote about the eolian harp in his other pieces. Bracy, feeling optimistic about the harp, compares it to Christabel's words. He obviously feels very close to her and values her words. She must mean a lot to him, and it is shown here through comparison.

    5. Geraldine is found in the woods wearing a silken robe of white and speaks in a faint sweet voice. White represents purity. This is ironic because later it is found out that Geraldine is the opposite of sweet and pure.

    6. Christabel "trimmed the lamp, and made it bright." Lamp trimmers were responsible for maintaining and cleaning oil lamps. They had to trim the wick that was inside the lamp. This could sometimes be a tricky job because the wick had to be trimmed a certain way so it would burn evenly.

    7. There are many animal references in the poem. The Owlet, the dog barking, The bright green snake. The Dove. The palfrey. Animals can act as symbols. For instance, snakes are associated with evil while the dove is associated with peace and purity.

    8. Geraldine is describing her terrible experience in the woods. She says the tallest of five men took her off the "palfrey's back". A palfrey was the name for a riding horse back in the middle ages. By Coleridge's use of words like palfrey it gives the sense that this poem takes place in the past. Possibly the middle ages.

    9. Sir Leoline, Christabel's father is said to be the baron rich. A baron is a lord or nobleman. A baron owns land or is very powerful.

  3. Sep 2016
    1. Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,24Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,25Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,26Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing!

      The notion of Elves in the previous line 22 helps play into Coleridge's, fantasy-like imagery he creates in the following lines. He goes on in line 24 materializing these imaginary Elven faeries whom manifest themselves in the beauteous sounds he hears in the mourning dew off flowers and birds. All this summarizes to Coleridge's overall connection to wind and nature's "otherworldly" tranquil/beauteous breath, created by the harp.

    2. Meek daughter in the family of Christ!

      "Meek", as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is "gentle, courteous, or kind". So here, Coleridge is describing his wife as a gentle angle or divine disciple (as he writes "in the family of Christ" on line 54).

    3. Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)

      This line stood out to me every time I read through the poem, but I wasn't sure why. In the Oxford English dictionary "serene" can be defined as "calm; harmony; at ease with oneself' emotionally balanced" and "brilliant" means "brightly shining, glittering, sparkling, lustrous". This line is physically describing the evening star in the previous line, but also the idea of how wisdom should be. Wisdom should not only be bright and lustrous, but also be in harmony with that person. Wisdom should illuminate the unknown, but also bring peace and harmony. I never thought about wisdom in those terms, but it makes sense. Coleridge is describing wisdom in beautiful way.

    4. For never guiltless may I speak of him,60The Incomprehensible! save when with awe61I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;

      In these three lines Coleridge seems to be transitioning from the sublime (discussing "dangerous" and new ideas that challenge common ideas about God, the soul, and religion) and transitioning to the beautiful, or his frame. These lines represent the times that one would be "allowed" to discuss God (in praise or thanks), and solidify the common thought of God as "incomprehensible" or impossible to define or understand. Coleridge implies that he should fee guilty for speaking outside of the accepted way, but doesn't.

    5. Elfins

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary Elfins are elves.

    6. Where the breeze warbles

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary warbles means gentle and melodious singing. Coleridge is saying that the breeze is making a gentle and melodious sound.

    7. And biddest me walk humbly with my God.

      The question that Coleridge asks in the previous stanza is a dangerous question that his wife rejects with "a mild reproof." He uses this last stanza to complete the frame structure of the poem. The previous stanza implies that we are all on the same level of God. God acts upon us through the "intellectual breeze" and sweeps through every living thing. This makes everyone equal, even animals to humans, and seems to suggest that we may be equals with God if he is sweeping through us. Therefore, he uses this last stanza as a chance to state that he must "walk humbly" with God. He needs to reassure his reader, and wife, that he sees himself as humble in the eye of God.

    8. intellectual breeze,

      Coleridge questions if there is an "intellectual breeze" which sweeps through all of us - "all of animated nature." He is questioning if there is something which binds all of us together. This speaks to Blake's "poetic genius" from "All Religions are One." Blake's poem states that there is a poetic genius which binds everyone together and makes religion, despite different cultures. This is similar to what Coleridge is talking about. An intellectual breeze which binds every living thing together at once. We are simply "organic harps" which get played by the wind. In other words, we are all acted upon by the intellectual breeze of God.

    9.  And what if all of animated nature46Be but organic harps diversely framed,47That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps48Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,49At once the Soul of each, and God of All?

      Coleridge is stating that the world is animated and brought to life through nature, much like the eolian harp. Through the breeze nature brings the harp is played to make beautiful noise that makes the night 'tremble" as he puts. he goes on to say a somewhat controversial statement when he says "at once the soul of each, and God of All" (lines 48-49). Here, he questions if nature is the god who plays all of life's instruments and composes how the world is played out.

    10. Traverse my indolent and passive brain

      According to The Oxford English Dictionary, "indolent" can be defined as "causing no pain." The author is suggesting to traverse, or pass though, his painless and accepting brain. He might be hinting at opening one's mind to new ideas and "phantasies," as noted in the line prior.

    11. And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;

      According to The Oxford English Dictionary, a "muse" can be defined as "a spell of thoughtfulness or reflection." The point the author is trying to make here is likely the calm thoughtfulness on the calmness itself he is observing. He uses "tranquil" and "tranquility" very close to one another, likely for emphasis.

    12. Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air34Is Music slumbering on her instrument.

      The Oxford English Dictionary describes the word "warble" (verb) as "to modulate the voice in singing; to sing with trills and quavers." In the previous lines, the speaker states that he cannot imagine not loving a world where the breeze sings or is melodious. Still air, then, is the breeze simply sleeping on the harp or instruments alike, which depend on the air.

    13. How by the desultory breeze caressed,16Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, desultory is defined as "skipping about, jumping or flitting from one thing to another; devious, unsteady." Here, Coleridge paints a clear image for the reader. The audience can imagine a maid caressing her lover, and he compares this to the breeze. The breeze, then, stops to caress the harp before moving onto something else; it is as fleeting as the coy maid.

    1. jubilee

      A "Jubilee", defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a "Jewish festival of emancipation and restoration that was to be kept every fifty years". The festival was to " be proclaimed by the blast of trumpets throughout the land".

    2. The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;

      Wordsworth creates a very unique metaphor here by incorporating a natural storm with humanistic sorrow. The word "cataracts", defined by the OED as "a violent downpour or rush of water". Wordsworth uses the word "trumpet" to signify the powerful, explosive tone (usually used in ancient military) of the instrument in relation to the flooding of water. The word "steep", as defined by the OED means either something "extended to great height" or "the process of steeping or soaking". Wordsworth uses these meanings in duality, describing storm clouds as objects of great height that soak all beneath it. Wordsworth uses all these metaphors to place the narrator in the onslaught of an emotional, raging storm.

    3. I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,193Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;194The innocent brightness of a new-born Day195                    Is lovely yet;

      These lines seem to contradict the overall idea of the poem: with age comes wisdom, but also a less innocent and joyful outlook on the world. These talk about a stream that he has learned to love more the longer he has been alive ("even more that when I tripped lightly as they"). He seems to say that some things become better with age, or our love for them grows with age. Age in these lines seems to be a good thing.

    4. Whither is fled the visionary gleam?57Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

      These lines seems to refer back to the first stanza where described children viewing every "common sight" as being "apparelled in celestial light, the glory and the freshness of a dream". Wordsworth is comparing his view now to the one of the child by asking this questions. He is mirroring his descriptions and creates a continuity within the poem that helps with comprehension of his main idea about the effects of age on outlook.

    5.     My head hath its coronal,

      According to the OED, a coronal is "a circlet for the head; esp. one of gold or gems, connoting rank or dignity." The speaker is saying that he is taking in the joy and wondrousness that the earth and its creatures are emitting around him, like being crowned or anointed.

    6. The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

      Wordsworth is stating that earlier in his life (childhood), he looked upon everything with a sense of wonder and curiosity. However, now as an adult, he no longer looks at things the same way; he has become complacent and is no longer mystified by common things.

    7. O joy! that in our embers130               Is something that doth live,131               That Nature yet remembers132What was so fugitive!

      In line 58, the speaker says that "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting," which seems to suggest the idea of reincarnation. This is the idea that when we are born, we forget our past life. Lines 129-132 seem to be playing off that same idea. These lines seem to suggest that there is something deep within us, "our embers," which remember the fleeting years passed. So although we grow up and think that we may forget things, there is something inside of us that "Nature yet remembers." It seems to reassure the speaker that he is able to hold onto memories, even though it may be a subconscious thing that he isn't aware of. It still seems to give him joy that these things, perhaps the innocence of childhood, and not forgotten by Nature.

      It may also be worth nothing that our book has all of these lines indented. The book also glosses "fugitive" to mean "fleeting."

    8. The Pansy at my feet

      According to aboutflowers.com, a pansy represents "loving thoughts." This is important to the poem because the "adult" speaker of the poem is asking "Where is it now, the glory and the dream?" It seems as though the speaker is reflecting on things that he has lost through growing up. Perhaps he is saying that as we grow up, we lose these "loving thoughts" and forget what it means to young and dream.

    9. Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,89With light upon him from his father's eyes!90See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,91Some fragment from his dream of human life,92Shaped by himself with newly-learn{`e}d art

      Wordsworth describes the stages of a child growing up and how he dislikes how children "act" while playing and mimicking adults. Within these lines, he describes the child's experiences with their parents and how this is the "human life" he notices and the way the adults show actions and how they are as people is what shapes this child's way of being or as he calls it "art"

    10.  Though nothing can bring back the hour178Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;179               We will grieve not, rather find180               Strength in what remains behind;181               In the primal sympathy182               Which having been must ever be;183               In the soothing thoughts that spring184               Out of human suffering;185               In the faith that looks through death

      These lines serve as a diplomatic response to his theory that the material world is actually a lesser version of the one which precedes existence. Prior to this, he asserts that something of value has been lost, "Wither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?" (Lines 56-57.) Instead of lamenting this loss however, the speaker finds comfort in the fact that intimations of the celestial world still exist, "We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind." Where someone else might mourn that loss, the speaker instead chooses to stay optimistic.

    11. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:59The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,60                 Hath had elsewhere its setting,61                    And cometh from afar:

      These lines can be identified as the poem's thesis. Stated plainly, the speaker claims that birth is a condensation of "celestial light" (Line 4) into flesh. The connection to said light can be drawn when he says, "The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star" (Line 59.) Furthermore, this mention of "forgetting" ties in with the title of the poem, "Intimations of Immortality," where as intimation can be defined as a hint or indication of something.

    12. The homely Nurse doth all she can82To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,83               Forget the glories he hath known,84And that imperial palace whence he came.

      This stanza is entirely metaphoric. Here, Earth is compared to a "homely Nurse"; "Nurse," of course, has been capitalized and almost given authority. Wordsworth describes the earth as the nurse, and the people who inhabit earth, then, as "her Foster-child." After some analysis, it is evident that the speaker believes Earth makes people forget the after-life. The "imperial palace whence he came" obviously refers to Heaven, so the speaker thinks Earth makes people far-removed from anything spiritual, and their memories of past-lives.

    13. To me alone there came a thought of grief:23A timely utterance gave that thought relief,

      These lines are a perfect example of the strophe/antistrophe structure. The definition of "strophe" by the Oxford English Dictionary is "one of two or more metrically corresponding series of lines forming divisions of a lyric poem." These strophes and antistrophes are typical of Greek poetry--and Odes such as this one. Here, the antistrophe seems to begin and end quickly, starting at line 22. The speaker, here, battles thoughts of grief. Immediately after, in line 23, the strophe occurs, where he feels himself lifted of these burdens.

    1. Æolian lute

      A stringed instrument played by the wind. Named after the Greek God of Wind.

    2. This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence4Unroused by winds

      Coleridge is saying that the night is so calm but will not last without some disturbance from the winds.

    3. And in our life alone does Nature live:

      This line touches on the divinity of human kind. By saying that everything we live and experience Nature also lives. It imparts an importance to treat our experiences reverently because they display the Devine in us.

    4. Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,With the old Moon in her arms;And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!We shall have a deadly storm.            (Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence)

      I think this small introduction is more to set up an emotion. Samuel Coleridge chooses to build off of Spence's work. He uses the work to establish a sense of overwhelming fear. Then goes on to say that while those signs of storm "raised" him and "sent his soul abroad," they also brought him life and a good kind of excitement. So where Spence focuses on the sublime in what is considered beautiful, Coleridge focuses on what is beautiful in the sublime.

    5. in lines 76-79 he is talking about a time in his life when he was sad, unhappy, and maybe even depressed. He thought that joy came from the finer (fancy) things in life. But now, he says that afflictions are holding him down. He now doesn't care that he has been robbed of his mirth (laughter, cheer, happiness) but he does not want to loose his creativity. He says (Line 85) each visitation suspends what nature gave him at birth (imagination).

    6. In the first stanza, the moon is one of the main focuses. The moon is being used to predict the weather, in which it is "foretelling" a storm that will happen that consists of winds and rain. The proof for the storm is also in line 1, if the bard was weather wise in Sir Patrick Spence's ballad, then their indeed will be a storm and the moon is the predictor of that.

    1. Thro’ spicy bower, and palmy grove,

      The OED states that a bower is "a pleasant shady place under trees or climbing plants in a garden or wood." Palmy is "an unbranched evergreen tree of tropical and warm regions, with a crown of very long feathered or fan-shaped leaves, and typically having old leaf scars forming a regular pattern on the trunk." Describing Africa in this way evokes a place of paradise and beauty. The cuckoo and some types of doves are common in Africa, and Smith asks if while the swallow is there, if it hears their unique songs.

    2. 16As fables tell, an Indian Sage, 17The Hindostani woods among, 18Could in his desert hermitage, 19As if ’twere mark’d in written page, 20Translate the wild bird’s song.

      Smith is saying that fables tell of a wise Indian (India) man who lives in Hindu (predominate religion of India) woods who is able to decipher the meaning of the swallow's song. In the next stanza, she expresses her envy in the ease in which he is supposedly able to do this, as if he were reading it from a book. She may have referenced and have been familiar with India because of her husband Benjamin Smith being a West Indian merchant.

    3. 61How learn ye, while the cold waves boom 62Your deep and ouzy couch above, 63The time when flowers of promise bloom, 64And call you from your transient tomb, 65To light, and life, and love?

      In these lines, the speaker compares two different theories as to the Swallow's habits. In the two stanzas which precede this one, he offers each theory its own reflection. "Thus lost to life, what favouring dream Bids you to happier hours awake," (Lines 51-52) makes a case for coincidence and perhaps even divine guidance as it's suggested that this dream goes so far as to "tell" (Line 53) rather than simply advise. Conversely, "by instinct taught to know," (Line 56) supplies a scientific explanation. Still, the speaker's bias shows evident when asking an unanswerable question, "How learn ye . . . The time when flowers of promise bloom," (Lines 61-63.)

    4. The gorse is yellow on the heath,

      The mention of gorse directly ties to the poem's title and subject. Also called Ulex, the plant is dense and thorny which makes it good protective covering for bird nests. It's no coincidence that this is where the Swallow returns. This plays with the seemingly confounding logic behind animal habits as presented in the lines, "Let baffled Science humbly own, Her mysteries understood alone, By Him who gives her laws" (Lines 68-70.)

    5. 7The Swallow

      According to The Oxford English Dictionary the swallow is "a well-known migratory bird with long pointed wings and forked tail, having a swift curving flight and a twittering cry, building mud-nests on buildings, etc., and popularly regarded as a harbinger of summer." I think the Swallow is being used to represent Summer, or the coming of Summer.

    6. The hawthorn soon will bear the wreath, 5The silver wreath of May.

      According to The Oxford English dictionary, a hawthorn can be described as "a thorny shrub or small tree, extensively used for forming hedges; the White-thorn. It bears white, and, in some varieties, red or pink blossom (called ‘may’); its fruit, the haw, is a small round dark red berry." I think that the point that the author is making is that the "wreath" aka the fruits, are symbolizing the shift into May.

    7. That I might learn, fleet bird, from thee, 23What our vain systems only guess,

      In the stanza's and lines leading up to lines 22 and 23 Turner does a very good job of narrating the freedom the Swallow has. And in lines 22 and 23 she expresses her want for a society where freedom is a norm by saying that she wants to learn from the free Swallow.

    8. Her sacred veil where Nature draws; 68Let baffled Science humbly own, 69Her mysteries understood alone, 70By Him who gives her laws.

      I really enjoy the fact that she finds a way to merge science and a higher power. She gives credit to science for understanding the complexities of nature, but she also expresses that these complexities may have been created by a much higher power.

    9. in lines 61-64 She writes about how the Swallow can leave for the winter and come back in the spring. It is always living in nice warm weather.(Also, The swallow is free to go wherever it pleases) In line 52 she describes it as having happier hours awake. This could be due to the amount of freedom the bird has.

    10. In line 16, Smith is writing about a wise Indian. She describes where he lives as a "hermitage" (small and remote place) in the woods. So this wise Indian who lives in the woods is able to tell what the Swallow is chirping about, and he is able to tell very easily. Smith herself wishes she had the knowledge of the Indian sage to interpret what the bird is trying to communicate.

  4. digital.library.upenn.edu digital.library.upenn.edu
    1. Sleep in the tomb of chaos? fancy droops, [Page 137] And thought astonish'd stops her bold career. But oh thou mighty mind!

      Barbauld makes a point to highlight three distinctive qualties of souls while postulating that galatic travel is a possible outcome of the afterlife ("Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul Revolving periods past, may oft look back With recollected tenderness, on all The various busy scenes she left below.")

      These capacities are tagged: fancy, thought, and mind. Where the monotony of empty space turns fancy away and the sheer scope of all creation is enough to leave thought in shock, mind has a innate need to observe all that it's capable of. The implication can be interpreted as humanity's need to explore despite any resulting triviality or insurmountability.

    2. Barbauld is describing the sky at the end of the day. She begins by describing the sun as a “sultry tyrant” This tyrant has now passed and the stars are now able to come out along with the bright crescent. The way in which Barbauld writes brings life to the night sky. She gives the stars, the moon, and the sun a sort of animated expression. She has a sense of curiosity about space and how life and nature works. She says “I launch into the trackless deeps of space.” She wants to explore beyond earth and beyond what people are able to explore. She also wants to explore beyond what the human capacity allows. She says, “Here must I stop, or is there aught beyond?” So she is saying that maybe life beyond earth will let her explore space and be free to roam.<br> According to the Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English, Barbauld gives a feminine feel to the stars and the moon when describing them. She even gives them female names like Venus and Dian. A Summer Evening’s Meditation follows an Anne Finch writing (Eger). Barbauld’s poems are written well and it is easy to tell that she was also educated. One line in particular that shows this is “She mused away the gaudy hours of noon” The Oxford English Dictionary defines mused as confused or to ponder and defines gaudy as luxurious. So she is thinking about the obnoxious time of the day when the sun is hot and it is miserable due to the heat. Knowing what words mean and knowing what context they are used in is key to understanding the author and the meaning behind their writings. The sheer complexity of the poem calls for critical analysis of the words used. This is a poem that requires time to read and think about. Once the poem is more clearly understood, it makes it easier to appreciate what Barbauld is saying.

    3. VENUS

      In the Oxford English Dictionary, Venus is the Roman goddess of love. In astronomy, It is the second brightest celestial object after the sun. This brightness is referenced when Barbauld writes that Venus and her light comes and pushes her brother Apollo (the sun) out of the sky in order to bring back Dian (the moon) .

    4. Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul

      Barbauld is suggesting that after-death she will have the opprotunity to be free from her body, earth, and heaven. Seeking the mysteries of outerspace to one day be the home of her traveling soul. This isn't the typical afterlife that we ever hear or think of. We can tie this in on how she herself sees the world. Everything ties into a bigger picture. Life after death is a continuation of her soul, the next part of her life.

    5. Propitious shines,

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, propitious has a latin origin and means "favorably inclined, or well-disposed". This idea that Venus shines propitiously adds to her description as being sweet, soft, and dewy; very feminine and gentle.

    6. And worthy of the Master: he, whose hand With hieroglyphics elder than the Nile, Inscribed the mystic tablet; hung on high To public gaze, and said, adore, O man! The finger of thy GOD.

      A master in the Oxford English Dictionary is described as being "A person (predominantly a man) having authority, direction or control over the action of another or others." The way that Barbauld uses the term Master shows a definitive switch in her spiritual terminology. She began the poem using Roman mythological names, but it is here she switches to more Catholic references when referring to the space; Eve (the stanza above) and then God. Later she switches terminology again and refers to space in a scientific way.

    7. zenith

      Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the point of the sky directly overhead; the highest point of the celestial sphere as viewed from any particular place; the upper pole of the horizon."

    8. DIAN's bright crescent, like a silver bow New strung in heaven

      Dian refers to the Roman goddess Diana (Artemis in Greek). She is the goddess of the hunt and her name stands for heavenly or divine, so the allegory "silver bow new strung in heaven" is appropriate for her. Although the primary goddess of the moon is Luna (in Latin, Selene in Greek), the use of Diana and Venus (Aphrodite) later on indicates that their other likenesses are being attributed to the moon: nature and love.

    9. the hour will come When all these splendours bursting on my sight Shall stand unveil'd, and to my ravish'd sense Unlock the glories of the world unknown

      Since the word "splendour," by Oxford's definition, means brilliant light, this poem ends on a positive note. Barbould is stating that the time will come when these spiritual wonders make sense to her, that a "world unknown" will unfold itself. The word "ravished," according to Oxford, means to be "transported in spirit or with some strong emotion"--synonymous to captivated. One day, Barbould will no longer be blinded to the world's mysteries and will be able to see clearly.

    10. lustres

      Described by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the quality or condition of shining by reflected light"

    11. grotto

      The Oxford English Dictionary describes this as a cave or cavern, especially one which is picturesque.

    12. citadels

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word citadel can be defined as follows: "A stronghold or fortified area within a city or town, typically occupying a dominating position, and serving to protect or guard it, and often (esp. formerly) as the place from which it is governed."

    13. Hesperian

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word hesperian pertains to the land of the west, or where the sun sets.

  5. Dec 2015
    1. meanly

      Meanly is defined as in a lowly or inferior manner. Here the word refers to the girl's clothing as being lowly, indicating that she is poor.

      "Meanly." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meanly

    2. charnel-houses

      "charnel house, n.": A house for dead bodies; a house or vault in which the bones of the dead are piled up.

      "charnel house, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 18 November 2015. Image Description

    3. anatomy

      "anatomy, n.": A body (or part of one) anatomized or dissected, so as to show the position and structure of the organs.

      "anatomy, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 2 December 2015.

      Again, it is important for Victor to understand how bodies are structured so that he could conduct his experiments on a properly constructed specimen.

    4. physiology

      "physiology, n.": The branch of science that deals with the normal functioning of living organisms and their systems and organs. Also: the functional processes of an organism, organ, or system.

      "physiology, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 2 December 2015.

      Victor's study of physiology is important to his understanding of how he could make his experiment's body function properly.

    5. physiognomy

      "physiognomy, n.": A person's facial features or expression (originally freq. considered as indicative of the mind and character); the face, the countenance. Also: the general cast of features or the facial type of a people, group, etc.

      "physiognomy, n." Def. 2b. OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 18 November 2015.

      Frankenstein considers Dr. Krempe repulsive in this facial features, which from this definition, can be indicative of his character. In this case, Frankenstein dislikes both Krempe's appearance and character.

    6. pedantry

      "pedantry, n.": Excessive or undue concern for petty details; slavish adherence to formal precision, rules, or literal meaning.

      "pedantry, n." Def. 1b. OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 18 November 2015.

      Waldman was more supportive of Frankenstein's scientific endeavors than Krempe, who was more concerned with details and precision.

    7. natural philosophy

      "natural philosophy, n.": The study of natural bodies and the phenomena connected with them; natural science; (in later use) spec. physical science, physics.

      "natural philosophy, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 18 November 2015.

      Frankenstein employs his extensive knowledge on this subject to conduct his own experiments. It's possible that he was too caught up in the science that he didn't consider the consequences.

    8. spectre

      "spetre, n.": An apparition, phantom, or ghost, esp. one of a terrifying nature or aspect.

      "spectre, n." Def. 1a. OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 18 November 2015.

    9. I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.

      Although Victor doesn't want to reveal the secret of reanimation, the "spark of being" is a strong hint toward it- electricity. This is seen in the science of Galvanism, named for Luigi Galvani, who discovered "animal electricity" through experiments that used static electricity to stimulate muscular contractions in living and dead animals.

      "Galvani, Luigi (1737-1798)." The Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Abington: Helicon, 2015. Credo Reference. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

    10. Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.

      This is a very important theme in the novel - there is great danger in the acquirement of knowledge. Here, Victor will not reveal the secret to reanimation because he wants to teach this lesson so that others will not follow so in his rash ways.

    11. restored me to life

      This fits in with the theme of life and death. Victor says that Clerval restored him to life, but he was not dead in the truest sense of the word.

    12. because the powers of the latter were chimerical


      existing only as the product of an unchecked imagination

    13. "Slave, I before reasoned with you, but you have proved yourself unworthy of my condescension. Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!"

      This is a very powerful passage; it is a declaration of ultimate power by the creature. The creature has risen above Victor and will not be denied in his request, even though Victor is the creator- the one who gave him life in the first place. This can be extended to represent the dangers and power of scientific exploration.

    14. Chapter 4

      "Giovanni Aldini (1762 - 1834)." Giovanni Aldini. Corrosion Doctors, n.d. Web. Nov. 2015. (http://www.corrosion-doctors.org/Biographies/AldiniBio.htm).

      <span>Giovanni Aldini carried out experiments of electrifying the bodies of dead animals and humans. His experiments parallel with Victor's reanimation of a corpse.</span>


      Ruston, Sharon. "The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - See More At: (http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-science-of-life-and-death-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein#authorBlock1." British Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2015. <http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-science-of-life-and-death-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein#authorBlock1).

      The science of life and death was being passionately explored at the time of the writing of the novel.


      Johnson, Daniel. "Frankenstein Science." The New York Sun. N.p., 22 May 2008. Web. 06 Dec. 2015. (http://www.nysun.com/opinion/frankenstein-science/76862/).

      The science surrounding Frankenstein still continues to be relevant in today's society.

    15. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds

      His experiments with life and death were imaginary boundaries - he intended to move beyond these limitations to a bigger experiment with creating a entirely new species. At the time, there were many scientific investigations about the states of life and death. There was so much uncertainty surrounding the topics that something like reanimation of the dead didn't seem unreachable.

      Ruston, Sharon. "The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - See More At:(http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-science-of-life-and-death-in-mary-shelleys-frankenstein#authorBlock1).

    16. promontory

      "promontory, n.": A point of high land which juts out into the sea or another expanse of water; a headland.

      "promontory, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.

    17. Why had I not followed him and closed with him in mortal strife?

      "close, v.": intr. To come to close quarters or to grips; to engage in hand-to-hand fight, grapple with. Said of men, armies, ships.

      "close, v." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

      Victor is regretting not physically fighting the creature to the death.

    18. casement

      "casement, n.": A vertically hinged frame containing glass, forming (part of) a window. Hence (more generally): a window.

      "casement, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

    19. sophisms

      "sophism, n.": A specious but fallacious argument, either used deliberately in order to deceive or mislead, or employed as a means of displaying ingenuity in reasoning.

      "sophism, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

    20. consummation of my labour

      "consummation, n.": The action or an act of completing, accomplishing, or finishing.

      "consummation, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

      During his first experiment, Victor was consumed with his labor. Now, knowing the horror he created, it sickens him to think of going through with a second experiment.

    21. remotest of the Orkneys

      The Orkney Islands are an island group, or chain, in the Northern Isles of Scotland. Orkney Wikipedia

    22. superscription of Elizabeth or my father

      "superscription, n.": A piece of text written or printed at the head or beginning of a document; a heading.

      "superscription, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

    23. on the stretch

      "stretch, n.": Exhausting effort or strain of mind. Now rare.

      "stretch, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 5 December 2015.

    24. lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland

      Part of the Lake District in England. The "Lake Poets", William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey, among others, are associated with this area.

      "Lake District." The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide. Abington: Helicon, 2015. Credo Reference. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

    1. Laura awoke as from a dream, Laugh’d in the innocent old way,

      This is showing how she has been freed from her sins, due to her sister's selfless act.

    2. ratel

      south african animal that looks like a badgerImage Description

    3.  Life out of death. That night long Lizzie watch’d by her, Counted her pulse’s flagging stir, Felt for her breath, Held water to her lips, and cool’d her face With tears and fanning leaves:

      Jesus Christ also brought eternal life and salvation back from his journey through death and hell. In painting Lizzie as a Christ-like character, this shows how Lizzie did the same, bringing her ailing (sinning) sister her salvation.

    4. Do you not remember Jeanie, How she met them in the moonlight, Took their gifts both choice and many, Ate their fruits and wore their flowers Pluck’d from bowers Where summer ripens at all hours? But ever in the noonlight She pined and pined away; Sought them by night and day, Found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey; Then fell with the first snow, While to this day no grass will grow

      Jeanie is an example of someone who has lost a battle with the addiction of the goblin fruit. While she believed that she could handle it, she was never able to recreate what she felt that first time, and it led her to essentially deteriorate waiting for more. I believe this to be a commentary on addiction, be it to sex or drugs.

    5. “Good folk, I have no coin; To take were to purloin: I have no copper in my purse, I have no silver either, And all my gold is on the furze That shakes in windy weather Above the rusty heather.” “You have much gold upon your head,” They answer’d all together: “Buy from us with a golden curl.” She clipp’d a precious golden lock, She dropp’d a tear more rare than pearl,

      At this point, Laura sells her body in exchange for the goblin fruit. This is perhaps a commentary on the prostitutes of the time.Christina Rossetti spent ten years working at a penitentiary for prostitutes. It is through this experience, perhaps, that she gained her sympathy for Laura who she paints not as a whore, but rather a victim.

    1. "La belle dame sans mercy:"


      • Keats created the name of this song from a medieval poem; Alain Chartier's 1424 "La Belle Dame sans Mercy"
                   * Love lyric involving a female protagonist who wasn't overly seductive nor did she use magic to trick or deceive
                             *She is considered to be merciless because she refuses to be seduced by her lover's pleas 
                  * Poem contains mostly dialogue between the female protagonist and her lover; pattern of communication resurfaces in "The Eve of St. Agnes" after Porphyro plays the song for Madeline
      • Keats would write a poem of the title "La Belle Dame sans Merci" a few months after completing "The Eve of St. Agnes". This poem is pulled from a variety of sources from SPenser's "Fairy Queen", The Ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, and ballads from Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
    2. And they are gone: ay, ages long ago370 These lovers fled away into the storm. That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe, And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm, Were long be-nightmar'd. Angela the old Died palsy-twitch'd, with meagre face deform; The Beadsman, after thousand aves told, For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.

      They leave the house in a state of sleep, almost like pausing reality. Could be perceived as Madeline and Porphyro running away and leaving everyone else to deal with the consequences. Notice how the two most religious features in the poem die, could be a way to emphasize young foolish love breaking free of the constraints of religion and what is socially acceptable.

    3. Into her dream he melted, as the rose320 Blendeth its odour with the violet,— Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath set.
      • In this version, shows reality (frost-wind blows) or outer sanctum of the poem threatening to interfere but both refuse to see or acknowledge reality. Showing them decidedly turning away from reason and the "right" and christian decision (using the tampered dream as a sign of good blessings for their union and breaking the Christian traditions of St. Agnes Eve) and following their hearts. *Alarum is an old spelling of the word "Alarm"
    4. The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion, The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarionet, Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:—260 The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

      The real world threatening to breech into the core plot of the poem but Madeline remains asleep, refusing to let reality interfere with her dream. Interesting to note that these loud noises don't wake her but later when Porphyro whispers in her ear and plays instruments softly not only does she wake up but before she does his actions help shape her dream while outside noises from the party do not.

    5. O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!

      Another drug reference this time used in context with magically and mythical themes (amulet meaning a sleep-producing charm or spell). also referencing the abnormality of Madeline's sleep.

    6. poppied warmth of sleep oppress'd Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away

      Drug reference that could be implying an unnaturally deep sleep.

    7. on her silver cross soft amethyst,

      Could also be playing on the theme of paganism invading on Christianity. Or of young foolish love invading on established authority and pushing aside conventions held by the rest of society.

    8. vespers

      Evening prayers

    9. Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,220 And on her silver cross soft amethyst,

      Rose and violet. either imagery to enhance the dream-like quality of the piece or signs to show the "rightness" of their union. Notice how her cross turns purple which could be a sign from God approving of the match which is what both want.

    10. As though a tongueless nightingale should swell Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

      Could be an allusion to a story in Metamorphoses, where Philomel is raped by her sister's husband who then cuts her tongue out to keep her from telling what he's done. She manages to weave her story and make herself understood to her sister and when the husband is about to kill both women, they are metamorphosed into a nightingale and a swallow.

    11. Never on such a night have lovers met,170 Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

      Most likely from an episode in the Arthurian legends in which Merlin loses his life when a conniving woman named Vivian turns one of his own spells against him.

    12. So woful, and of such deep sorrowing,160 That Angela gives promise she will do Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.

      Foreshadowing. Because Angela is helping Porphyro to deceive Madeline, she is helping them to avoid the consequences of their actions and will die later on in the poem as a way to show the reader that by helping them avoid the consequences, she takes on the consequences of the real world herself.

    13. St. Agnes! Ah! it is St. Agnes' Eve— Yet men will murder upon holy days: Thou must hold water in a witch's sieve,120 And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays, To venture so: it fills me with amaze To see thee, Porphyro!—St. Agnes' Eve! God's help! my lady fair the conjuror plays This very night: good angels her deceive! But let me laugh awhile, I've mickle time to grieve.

      Contradictory because Angela is telling Porphyro that today should be a holy day but men can and have deceived on sacred days as if it means nothing special. She talks about using trickery and manipulation of God and His wishes to get the outcome Porphyro needs for Madeline to believe that they should be together and that it is the right, Christian thing to do.

    14. the sad heart of Ruth

      Ruth is one of the ancestors to the Biblical David, and from Jesus. Her story is a small section within the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament refereed to as the Book/Scroll of Ruth.

      In brief summary; Ruth became a widow and decided to follow her mother back to their ancestral home of Bethlehem where she eventually remarries after a long time in the fields.

      In this stanza, Keats wonders is Ruth had heard the Nightingale's song, and if it had perhaps helped her too.

      Here is a link to the passage.

      "Ruth, Book of." Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible. N.p.: Collins, 2002. Credo Reference. 1 Jan. 2002. Web. 6 Dec. 2015. http://pitt.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/macdbib/ruth_book_of/0.

    15. musk-rose

      musk rose, n. - An autumn-flowering, climbing garden rose, Rosa moschata (not known for certain to exist in the wild), with large white musk-scented flowers growing in clusters. Also: any of certain hybrids evolved from this (more fully hybrid musk rose).

      This entire stanza relies heavily on scent, as before his other senses are heightened by the lack of vision. The "musk-rose" is a strange flower, mostly because they are so common they can practically go unseen. It is only because of its strong scent it gains the attention of passersby or insects to pollinate. In the next like he can hear the flies which are attracted to the musk of the flower.

      "musk rose, n." OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2015. Web. 6 December 2015.

    16. immortal Bird

      Ok, so it would not be the bird that is immortal, but it's song? The bird sings all over the scale (pitch, tone, etc.), so the song would not be consistent trough time. The feeling upon hearing the birds sound however, may be the repeatable occurrence through the ages.

    17. Oh leave me not in this eternal woe, For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go." [101]XXXVI. Beyond a mortal man impassion'd far At these voluptuous accents, he arose, Ethereal, flush'd, and like a throbbing star Seen mid the sapphire heaven's deep repose Into her dream he melted, as the rose320 Blendeth its odour with the violet,— Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows Like Love's alarum pattering the sharp sleet Against the window-panes; St. Agnes' moon hath set.


      1. In 1819, Keats suggested alterations to Stanza 36 and the two proceeding lines. *See, while she speaks his arms encroaching slow, Have zoned her, heart to heart, - loud, loud the dark winds blow!

      XXXVI: For on the midnight came a tempest fell; More sooth, for that his quick rejoinder flows Into her burning ear; and still the spell Unbroken guards her in serene repose. With her wild dream he mingled, as a rose Marrieth its odour to a violet. Still, still she dreams, louder the frost wind blows.*

      1. This version was rejected because many believed it made the poem too sexually explicit.
      2. the verson currently printed gives the reader a sense of Porphyro becoming a part of Madeline's dream to fulfill it as an innocent experience.
    1. 638. The Lotos-Eaters

      List of academic sources for further reading:

      Bush, Douglas. Mythology and the Romantic Tradition in English Poetry Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933.

      Platizky, Roger S. ""Like Dull Narcotics, Numbing Pain": Speculations on Tennyson and Opium." Victorian Poetry 40.2 (2002): 209-15. Web.

      Pope, Alexander, and Maynard Mack. The Poems of Alexander Pope: Index. London: Methuen, 1969. Print.

      Stevenson, Catherine Barnes. “The Shade of Homer Exorcises the Ghost of De Quincey: Tennyson's "the Lotos-eaters"”. Browning Institute Studies 10 (1982): 117–141.

    2. poppy

      Here, Tennyson makes a direct reference to the poppy plant, which opium is derived from.

      During the Victorian era, opium was as common as aspirin is today. Doctors readily prescribed it for symptoms from common aches and pains to melancholy. Tennyson's own father, an alcoholic with erratic behavior, began using opium in his later life. He died shortly before this poem was written. Tennyson's brother Charles also developed an opium addiction around this time, leading to a break-up with his wife and probably preventing his return to Cambridge.

      Opium usage also permeated Tennyson's professional life. Writers of his time often associated opium with artistic sensibility. Around the 1820's, writer Thomas De Quincey began writing Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. He wrote about the wonders of opium and how it brought about "divining dreams" and "sublime Imagination". Samuel Taylor Coleridge had also written about his opium use in poems such as Kubla Khan, which Tennyson was reading.

      Works cited:

      Stevenson, Catherine Barnes. “The Shade of Homer Exorcises the Ghost of De Quincey: Tennyson's "the Lotos-eaters"”. Browning Institute Studies 10 (1982): 117–141.

      Platizky, Roger S. ""Like Dull Narcotics, Numbing Pain": Speculations on Tennyson and Opium." Victorian Poetry 40.2 (2002): 209-15. Web.

    3. In which it seemed always afternoon.

      Throughout the poem, Tennyson uses the word "seem" many times to represent the land of the lotus eaters, as well as the effects from the plants. Here, "seemed always afternoon" is used to provide a timeless and removed sensation to the setting. However, as the poem continues, these supernatural descriptions only "seem" to be; they do not truly exist in this way.

      Works cited:

      Stevenson, Catherine Barnes. “The Shade of Homer Exorcises the Ghost of De Quincey: Tennyson's "the Lotos-eaters"”. Browning Institute Studies 10 (1982): 117–141.

    4. “COURAGE!” he said, and pointed toward the land, “This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”

      The Lotos-Eaters is a reference to a story from Book IX of Homer's Odyssey. The hero Odysseus and his crew are lost at sea after being blown off-course by a storm on their way home to Ithaca. At this point in the story, the mariners are weary from years of travel. Tennyson's poem begins as Odysseus sees land. "Courage!" he says, attempting to invigorate his crew's hopes.

      Tennyson deeply studied classical Greek works. He was considered to be "saturated in [Alexander] Pope's Homer" and "unwavering in his loyalty to the ancients." (Bush 351). Tennyson builds on this small event from the epic to represent a larger issue: the growing culture of opium dependency in his time.

      Works cited: Bush, Douglas. Mythology and the Romantic Tradition in English Poetry Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933.

    5. Elysian valleys

      In Greek mythology, Elysium (or Elysian fields or valleys) was a paradise where those blessed with immortality by the Gods were sent. In Homer's writings, it was a land of perfect happiness at the end of the Earth.

      Tennyson wraps his poem up here, leaving the mariners thinking about rest in the asphodel flowerbeds of the afterlife.

    6. On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.        155 For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl’d Far below them in the valleys

      The Gods sit smugly above the people toiling on the land. The reference to hurled bolts refers to Zeus, who had the ability to trow bolts of lightning.

    7. Roll’d to starboard, roll’d to larboard

      Again, a dizzying and swaying effect, but now the mariners themselves are the ones rolling around. They are tired of being tossed about their ship while at sea, and the effect is compared to the lotus being blown about the land.

    8. VIII

      The lotus now covers the land and blows through the air; they are consumed by it. Now lost and swirled up in the effects of the drugs, the mariners are removed from reality. They watch as people suffer through war and natural disaster caused by the smug Gods. Mankind works the land for "little dues of wheat, wine, and oil" to make it through the year, only to die.

    9. Round and round

      The lotus is blown about, creating a dizzying effect.

    10. VII

      The mariners are soothed again by the drugged experience of nature. The flower beds they rest upon consist of magical plants. Notice the flow of the river, which is slow and stretched through time.

    11. VI

      Like in the stanza leading up to the Choric Song, the mariners remember fondly their last memories of their wives. But they come to realize that they have been away from home for a long time. Their sons have probably inherited their land and possessions, and everyone is much older. The mariners and their heroism in the Trojan War are only remembered by songs sung by minstrels.

    12. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.

      Homer's tale of the lotus-eaters in the Odyssey ends with Odysseus dragging his men back to the ship and locking them up in order to continue their journey.

      Tennyson ends his poem before Odysseus's heroic act. The mariners' last thoughts are of finality, reinforcing their decision to remain on the island. They submit to the dream-like death of the lotus.

    13. Is there confusion in the little isle? Let what is broken so remain.

      They do not know if trouble or strife remains in their home of Ithaca, but they decide that it does not matter. Now, "confusion" is "worse than death."

    14. And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars

      Here, pilot-stars refers to celestial navigation. After years of trying to navigate home by the stars, they have grown weary.

    15. Most weary seem’d the sea, weary the oar, Weary the wandering fields of barren foam. Then some one said, “We will return no more;” And all at once they sang, “Our island home Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.”

      The mariners, "weary" of travel and hardship, decide not to continue their journey home.

    16. To muse and brood and live again in memory,        110 With those old faces of our infancy Heap’d over with a mound of grass, Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!

      Under the dreamy influence, the mariners recall people from their past who have died. Their drugged state places them between life and death, which soothes the mariners.

    17. II

      In this stanza, the mariners begin to ask questions. They are "consumed with sharp distress," wondering why, while they toil, "all [other] things...have rest." After their journeys, they wonder why they cannot find peace, and conclude that "There is no joy but calm!"

    18. I

      The natural world is sweet, gentle, and sleepy. The wind blows the grass, eyelids grow heavy, and the moss slowly creeps.

    19. V

      Another swing of emotion, this time a dreamy and warm description of their drug-induced slumber. Their agitated comparison last stanza between dream and death has turned into a loving death wish: "How sweet it were...Falling asleep in a half-dream!"

    20. All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave In silence—ripen, fall, and cease: Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.

      The mariners wish to be like the juicy apple that fell from the tree in the last stanza. They wish for "long rest or...dark death, or dreamful ease." The dreamy state of the mariners has now turned to mournful comparisons to death, a stark contrast from the creative and peaceful capability described before.

    21. IV

      Another wild shift in tone from the last stanza. The "hateful dark-blue sky" and "dark-blue sea" are agitated like the mariners. They wish to be left alone.

    22. III

      The mariner's expressions of nature under the influence of the lotus. Here, they are no longer distressed, complacent in the passing of day to night. A leaf buds and then falls to the ground. A juicy apple over-ripens and falls from the branch.

    23. Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

      A reference to the mariner's involvement in the fall of Troy. The Trojan war was waged by the Greeks. Paris of Troy stole Helen away from the king of Sparta, Menelaus. The most famous account of this event was Homer's Iliad. The Odyssey takes place after these events, on the way home from war.

      The mariners question why only they are out doing the fighting for cities and kings.


      Up to this point, the poem has followed the events of Homer's Odyssey. Here, the poem shifts into a unified voice of the mariners, now experiencing the full effects of the lotus.

      The Choric Song consists of eight numbered stanzas, with differing experiences and emotions from each.

      This is where Tennyson plays with language and the senses to create a dizzying portrayal of the drugged mariners. Their wildly dichotomous emotions of apathy and euphoria mirror the struggle Victorian England was experiencing with opium (see: poppy annotation).

      Each stanza has its own annotation, summarizing the experience of the mariners.

    25. asphodel

      Asphodel is a genus of flower. Homer describes an asphodel field or meadow that grows in Elysium. The plant is known for its tall white and yellow flowers.


    26. acanthus-wreath

      Acanthus, commonly called bear's breeches, is a perennial with bold reddish-purple spikes and white snap-dragon-like flowers. It is commonly used as decoration (here, it is woven into a wreath) acanthus-wreath).

    27. moly

      An imaginary magical herb in book 10 of the Odyssey. When Odysseus's men are captured by Circe, Hermes aids the hero by giving him moly, which protected Odysseus against Circe's magic.

    28. amaranth

      A perennial family of plants. There are many references to this plant throughout Greek myths and Romantic poetry, including Coleridge and Percy Shelley. Here, the flower comes to represent an imaginary plant that never fades. Amaranth

    29. myrrh-bush

      Myrrh is a tree from which an aromatic resin is made.


    30. Fatherland

      Their home and life in Ithaca, here being remembered fondly. Later in the poem, they will revisit this thought, but with a different attitude.

    31. Between the sun and moon upon the shore

      As if they were experiencing both day and night simultaneously, indicative of the lotus's fantastical effects.

    32. And deep-asleep he seem’d, yet all awake,        35 And music in his ears his beating heart did make.

      Here, this is a key effect of the lotus's effect on the user.

      He or she "seems" both awake and asleep and, under this influence, can hear his heart beat as if it were musical. This dazed state 'seems' to be producing a creative ability to hear music in a simple sound.

    33. Branches they bore of that enchanted stem, Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave To each, but whoso did receive of them        30 And taste, to him the gushing of the wave Far far away did seem to mourn and rave On alien shores

      From Homer's Odyssey Book IX:

      "Now whosoever of them did not eat the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, had no more wish to bring tidings nor to come back, but there he chose to abide with the lotus-eating men, ever feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of his homeward way."

      Just like the mariners in Homer's story, Tennyson's mariners also take in the lotus.

    34. Lotos-eaters

      The natives of the land come to the mariners, bearing lotus.

      What is the lotus of this story? Is it the flower that we would associate it with today?

      Authors during Homer's time used the term lotus to describe a number of different types of plants: the actual lotus (of which there are different types), jujube, as well as others.

      Alexander Pope investigated this same issue: "It has been a question whether it is an herb, a root, or a tree: [Eustathius] is of the opinion that Homer speaks of it as an herb...There is an Egyptian lotos, which, as Herodotus affirms, grows in great abundance along the Nile in the time of its inundations;...The Egyptians dry it in the sun, then take the pulp out of it, which grows like the head of a poppy and bake it like bread;this...agrees likewise" with Homer's description of the lotus.

      However, scholars during Pope's time (who Tennyson studied) took the classical works too literally, at times attempting to work with the texts as if they were fact(however it is interesting to note Pope's reference to poppy).

      More modern scholars have attempted to discover the answer to this question not by the physical description Homer gave, but by the euphoric characteristics of the plant. They note (as Pope knowingly or unknowingly also did) the similarities to opium (derived from poppy). It is possible that Homer had or heard of an experience with opium, but did not know what it was.

      Whatever the true origin of the lotus in this story, Tennyson recognizes the similarities it has with the opium of his day.

      Works cited: Pope, Alexander, and Maynard Mack. The Poems of Alexander Pope. London: Methuen, 1969. Print.

      Stevenson, Catherine Barnes. “The Shade of Homer Exorcises the Ghost of De Quincey: Tennyson's "the Lotos-eaters"”. Browning Institute Studies 10 (1982): 117–141.

    35. galingale

      A plant, known commonly now as galangal, similar to ginger, used in Indonesian and Asian cooking.


    36. copse

      A thicket of small trees or bushes. copse.

    37. Up-clomb

      Climbed up

    1. lunatic

      Here lunatic refers to the Clerk, a harsh title reserved for those gone mad. The Clerks actions, opening a door out of good will and courtesy, are hardly lunacy, but to Scrooge the Clerk has done a great wrong. Dickens does this, not only for humor and irony, but also to reflect the skewed Scrooge's opinion of the world.

          Hancher, Michael. “Grafting A Christmas Carol.” Studies in English Literature. 48:4 (2008) pp. 813-827. (JSTOR)
      Jaffe, Audrey. “Spectacular Sympathy: Visuality and Ideology in Dickens's A Christmas Carol.” PMLA. 109:2. (1994) pp 254-265. (JSTOR)
      Keeling, Paul M. “A Buddhist Carol.” Buddhist-Christian Studies. 31. (2011) pp. 25-29. (JSTOR)
      Sutherland, John. “The origins of A Christmas Carol.” Discovering Literature (2015) (British Library)
    3. STAVE  TWO

      This play was a popular type of play at the time, which helped its popularity. "A Christmas Carol owed a considerable debt to popular effects in the early Victorian payhouse." (Hancher)

    4. She left him, and they parted

      We end up feeling sympathy for Scrooge because of the emotions he displays when seeing these things “In several ways, then, the story ties the ability to sympathize with the images to restoring of a past self to present.” (Jaffe)

    5. The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground.

      They are arriving at their first stop of the journey in which, "Scrooge is presented with painful images of his childhood suffering as well as the kindness showed to him by others in the past, and learns how the present direction of his life has been shaped by these experiences." (Keeling)

    6. I wish,” Scrooge muttered, putting his hand in his pocket, and looking about him, after drying his eyes with his cuff: “but it’s too late now.” “What is the matter?” asked the Spirit. “Nothing,” said Scrooge. “Nothing. There was a boy singing a Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should like to have given him something: that’s all.”

      We see a change in Scrooge here, when he thinks back to the day before when he had a chance to be nicer and didn’t. He is realizing that his life is a series of these events, which are culminating in this ghost "intervention" Scrooge is bothered by these events that are his "regrets about his wasted opportunity at living a good life, that inspires Scrooge to be a better person" (Keeling)

    7. “Always a delicate creature, whom a breath might have withered,” said the Ghost. “But she had a large heart!” “So she had,” cried Scrooge. “You’re right. I will not gainsay it, Spirit. God forbid!” “She died a woman,” said the Ghost, “and had, as I think, children.” “One child,” Scrooge returned.

      The scene where Scrooge sees his sister bringing him home for Christmas rehashes the feelings he used to have for her. He was always so cold, he loved his sister very much and knew she had a big heart. Scrooge is once again struggling with a missed opportunity at happiness, when he realizes that although his sister is dead, part of her lives on in his nephew, who he refuses to have a good relationship with. The other part of this that sticks out is the way children are treated in general. Scrooge's dad obviously isn’t always a such a nice guy to the kids, so much so that Scrooge went away, or was sent away. Dickens believed that "How a society treats its children, Dickens believed, is the true test of that society’s moral worth." (Sutherland)

    8. There were more dances, and there were forfeits, and more dances, and there was cake, and there was negus, and there was a great piece of Cold Roast, and there was a great piece of Cold Boiled, and there were mince-pies, and plenty of beer

      1840s Fezziweg through a huge party, which showed Scrooge the error of his thoughts on Christmas. He sees what Christmas is about. This is Dickens showing the importance of Christmas a celebration. "Dickens had warm memories of his own childhood Christmases and, now the father of a young family (as was Prince Albert), made the annual event a merry holiday. Feasting, games, and domestic dramas were the order of the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ in the Dickens household." (Sutherland)

    9. being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body: of which dissolving parts,

      This is a symbol of all the different things that Scrooge could have done with his future, but he has let his time go by, and that's gone now.

    10. negus

      Negus is the name of a drink made of wine, most commonly port, mixed with hot water, spiced and sugared.

    11. And now Scrooge looked on more attentively than ever

      This was the moment that Scrooge realized that he really missed out on something great with Belle. They could have had kids together and a happy family, but Scrooge didn't care for that.

    12. “In words. No. Never.”

      He didn't ask her for "release" in words, but the way he was acting showed her that he clearly only cared about money now.

    13. “True,” said the Ghost. “Your nephew!” Scrooge seemed uneasy in his mind; and answered briefly, “Yes.”

      Scrooge gave up on having a family a long time ago because of how close he was his sister and then she died. He knows that he could have the same relationship with his nephew if he was nicer.

    14. “They have no consciousness of us.”

      Scrooge and the ghost are merely spectators in the events of Ebenezer's past.

    15. opaque

      this shows how dark it is outside. Opaque means not transparent, so Dickens is saying that Scrooge can't tell the window from the wall, that's how dark it is.

    16. “It’s dear old honest Ali Baba!

      Ali Baba is a fictional book that Scrooge was reading while everyone else was going home for the holidays. In his isolation, the characters he read about became his friends.

    17. he seized the extinguisher-cap, and by a sudden action pressed it down upon its head.

      Scrooge put out the flame on the ghost making him disappear, ending the second stave. This is a symbol that he is still not where he needs to be at the end of the stave. There is no doubt at all that he is now aware of the things he has done wrong in his life. He is trying to push them away and pretend they don't exist. It could also be seen as a sign of Scrooge putting his past to rest and focusing on a brighter future.

    18. “Something, I think?” the Ghost insisted. “No,” said Scrooge, “No. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk just now. That’s all.”

      Scrooge is very delighted to see his old boss, Mr. Fezziwig, and is instantly brought back to when he was being apprenticed with his friend Dick. The boss is a very nice man, and gives the two of them the day off for Christmas, a luxury that scrooge wouldn’t provide his worker when he asked for the day off. Scrooge is once again feeling regret for what he does and how he treats others, these are his breakthroughs as a person.

    19. “Yo ho, my boys!” said Fezziwig. “No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer! Let’s have the shutters up,” cried old Fezziwig, with a sharp clap of his hands, “before a man can say Jack Robinson!”

      Scrooge is very delighted to see his old boss, Mr. Fezziwig, and is instantly brought back to when he was being apprenticed with his friend Dick. The boss is a very nice man, and gives the two of them the day off for Christmas, a luxury that scrooge wouldn’t provide his worker when he asked for the day off. Scrooge is once again feeling regret for what he does and how he treats others, these are his breakthroughs as a person.

    20. “The school is not quite deserted,” said the Ghost. “A solitary child, neglected by his friends, is left there still.” Scrooge said he knew it. And he sobbed.

      The ghost is warning scrooge that these things have already happened, and that they are only spectators, they are not able to intervene or change anything about what happened. He wonders why he is joy filled when he hears the fellow children say Merry Christmas, after all he currently hates Christmas. He becomes sad when he realizes that he did used to love Christmas and was made into the person he is today by some very rough Christmases.

    21. “Your lip is trembling,” said the Ghost. “And what is that upon your cheek?”

      This is the first time that Scrooge shows any real emotion in the story. He sees the boarding school that he grew up in, and remembers a time when he did care about other people, and loved Christmas time.

    22. “Bear but a touch of my hand there,” said the Spirit, laying it upon his heart, “and you shall be upheld in more than this!”

      This is when we first see the power of the ghost and what he is really there to do. This is when Scrooge realizes that this is very much real, and not a dream. He now understands what this ghost is capable of, and their journey is just beginning.

    23. Perhaps, Scrooge could not have told anybody why, if anybody could have asked him; but he had a special desire to see the Spirit in his cap; and begged him to be covered. “What!” exclaimed the Ghost, “would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give? Is it not enough that you are one of those whose passions made this cap, and force me through whole trains of years to wear it low upon my brow!” Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend or any knowledge of having wilfully “bonneted” the Spirit at any period of his life. He then made bold to inquire what business brought him there. “Your welfare!” said the Ghost. Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end.

      Scrooge seems to have a natural desire to see the extinguisher cap used on the ghost. That is not the response that most people would give to a ghost, but Scrooge is symbolically, repeating his life, and projecting his desires to extinguish the light of the ghost of Christmas past, much like he put the extinguisher cap on his light filled life so long ago. Even after learning that the ghost is there to help him, Scrooge naturally doesn't understand or care about the significance, and would rather go to sleep, wasting the rest of his life.

    24. It was a strange figure—like a child: yet not so like a child as like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gave him the appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child’s proportions. Its hair, which hung about its neck and down its back, was white as if with age; and yet the face had not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest bloom was on the skin. The arms were very long and muscular; the hands the same, as if its hold were of uncommon strength. Its legs and feet, most delicately formed, were, like those upper members, bare. It wore a tunic of the purest white; and round its waist was bound a lustrous belt, the sheen of which was beautiful. It held a branch of fresh green holly in its hand; and, in singular contradiction of that wintry emblem, had its dress trimmed with summer flowers. But the strangest thing about it was, that from the crown of its head there sprung a bright clear jet of light, by which all this was visible; and which was doubtless the occasion of its using, in its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now held under its arm.

      Our first description of the ghost is a very thorough and detailed one. The figure is like a child, but with the features of an aged person. This is to show that the ghost represents Scrooge’s life in the past, and how he used to be a happy person. The old person features represent how long it has been since Scrooge really felt any of those positive feelings, a lifetime earlier. The contrast of white hair with a muscular body goes further to show the point that Scrooge did have a bright future and a good life, but he let it get away, and now it's just been so many years since he’s had true happiness. The ghost holds the holly branch that symbolizes the coldness of Scrooge, but it also is decorated with flowers, to show Scrooge's opportunity to change his ways, if it isn't too late. The light on his head represents the light that was so bright, symbolizing scrooge's life and future, before he became such a cold person. The extinguisher cap is a self-destructive symbol, which mirrors that of Scrooge, who has been leading a very self-destructive life.

    25. “The hour itself,” said Scrooge, triumphantly, “and nothing else!” He spoke before the hour bell sounded, which it now did with a deep, dull, hollow, melancholy One. Light flashed up in the room upon the instant, and the curtains of his bed were drawn.

      The hour arrives, and Scrooge rejoices prematurely before the curtains suddenly draw open, and in comes the ghost of Christmas past.

    26. Marley’s Ghost bothered him exceedingly. Every time he resolved within himself, after mature inquiry, that it was all a dream, his mind flew back again, like a strong spring released, to its first position, and presented the same problem to be worked all through, “Was it a dream or not?” Scrooge lay in this state until the chime had gone three quarters more, when he remembered, on a sudden, that the Ghost had warned him of a visitation when the bell tolled one. He resolved to lie awake until the hour was passed; and, considering that he could no more go to sleep than go to Heaven, this was perhaps the wisest resolution in his power.

      Scrooge is having trouble understanding if what happened with Marley's ghost was real, which leads him to remember what Marley's ghost said about a ghost visiting at one o’clock. Scrooge decided to wait in hopes of no ghost showing up, allowing him to go back to sleep. This is much like the fear he faces on a daily basis, being an old man, and the ghost of Christmas past is going to go further n showing scrooge how much time and life has wasted. He clings to the one thing he can control, waiting for the spirit.

    27. To his great astonishment the heavy bell went on from six to seven, and from seven to eight, and regularly up to twelve; then stopped. Twelve! It was past two when he went to bed. The clock was wrong. An icicle must have got into the works. Twelve!

      The passage of time is very prominent throughout this part of the story. Scrooge is confused by the hour, because he went to sleep at 2. The passage of time is also relevant in the fact that it is important for Scrooge because it is a symbol of how much time as has spent in his selfish ways, and how little time he has left.

    28. fettered

      To be restrained by chains or rope.

    29. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are

      Trying to find a logical reason for Marley's appearance, Scrooge tries to claim that the ghost before him is a hallucination, induced by something he ate.

    30. ancient Prophet’s rod

      Here Dickens is referring to the biblical prophet Aaron, brother of Moses. In one passage Aaron confronts the Pharaoh of Egypt, who demands to see a miracle. In response to this Aaron casts his rod to the ground, in which it becomes a large snake. Thinking themselves more powerful the Pharaoh's sorcerers also cast down their rods, turning into snakes as well, but Aaron's consumes the others. The rod represents authority and power and by consuming the other snakes Aaron proves that his God is mightier. Similarly Marley's presence consumes Scrooge, taking away any power or control he might have had over his domain. Aaron before the Pharaoh

    31. Abrahams

      Acording to Christian and Judaic scripture Abraham, a direct descendant of Noah, is considered the father of the Jewish people. In order to create the chosen people (the Jewish) God must first test Abraham to see if Abraham is truly devoted to God. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Issac, who agrees. Abraham is just about to sacrifice Issac when an angel stops him. Abraham is then rewarded by God, who promises to make Abraham's descendants his chosen people. Abraham about to sacrifice Issac

    32. Belshazzars

      Another biblical figure, Belshazzar apears in chapter five of the Book of Daniel, in which Babylon is under siege. Belshazzar, thinking his wall impenetrable, hosts a feast . The proud king then requests Jewish vessels of worship (goblets), to be brought to him, which he then uses to make a toast to his pagan gods: a bold act of blasphemy. As he makes his toast, however, a hand apears and writes a message on the wall that alludes to the fall of Babylon. The writing on the wall

    33. Queens of Sheba

      Queen Sheba was a biblical figure who appears before King Solomon with an abundance of spices, gold and jewels, her purpose being "to prove him [King Solomon] with hard questions." Solomon answer these questions, impressing the queen. They then exchange goods and Queen Sheba heads back to her home lands (presumably southern Arabia). Queen Sheba appearing before King Solomon

    34. Cains and Abels

      According to Judaeo/Christian/Muslim myth, Abel and Cain were the first two children of Adam and Eve. Cain, the first born, farmed the land, while Abel herded sheep. Both brothers offered sacrifices to God: Abel giving lamb, Cain giving produce. After finding out that God favored Abel's offering, Cain falls into a jealous rage and kills Abel. Cain slaying Abel

    35. Dutch tiles

      Examples of Dutch tiles Image Description Image Description

    36. cravat

      Victorian neck tieImage Description

    37. Darkness is cheap

      John Elwes, Scrooge's real life counter-part, was well known for retiring for the night early, in order to "save candle light." Both Scrooge and Elwes understand the value of darkness, since you don't have to pay for it.

    38. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.

      It is believed that Dickens' inspiration for Scrooge came from John Elwes: an English politician known for his miserly ways. Not only does Scrooge's physical description match Elwes', but like Elwes Scrooge didn't start out as a miser (which is revealed in Stave Two). At one point in his life Elwes roamed England, visiting city after city, indulging in expensive food, entertainment and frivolous items. It wasn't until Elwes started pursuing his uncle's inheritance did Elwes begin to adopt his notorious habits. His uncle, Sir Harvey Elwes, prided himself on spending only 110 pounds (roughly 200 U.S. dollars today) yearly. Sir Harvey did this by eating small game that he caught around his house (including rats), refusing to buy new cloths, going to bed as soon as possible to "save candle light" and various other extreme instances of penny-pinching. John Elwes eventually picked up these habits, so much so that people often thought he was a beggar in the streets. While Scrooge would never tolerate appearing as, or being called, a beggar, he does show extreme instances of greed, such as the cheap funeral for Marley, and refusing to give to charity.John Elwes

    39. Saint Dunstan

      Saint Dunstan was an Archbishop of Canterberry, and is the patron saint of metal workers. Many folk tales revolve around Saint Dunstan, most involving Dunstan thwarting the devil through the use of his skills as a black smith. Here Dickens is referencing the story where the Devil tried to seduce Dunstan by disguising himself as a beautiful woman. Duntstan, however, saw that the woman had hooves for feet. Realizing it was the Devil, Dunstan grabed a pair of hot tongs from his forge and clamped them on the Devil's nose, whose screams could be heard for miles. Dickens is stating that the intense cold of London could hurt the devil, and people, far worse than the hot tongs of a forge.Dunstan and the Devil More on Saint Dunstan

    40. Genius of the Weather

      In roman mythology a Genius was a spirit that followed and protected a person through out their life, much like a guardian spirit. While Geniuses were usually associated with humans, inanimate objects, places, events or ideas can have a Genius. In this instance, Dickens portrays one such Genius, helping to personify the weather as "mournful", adding to the already desolate scene.

    41. had once belonged to his deceased partner

      Much like Scrooge's real life counter part, John Elwes, Scrooge saves money by inheriting his living quarters from the deceased. John Elwes lived in his uncle's crumbling estate, which he refused to renovate in order to save money.

    42. they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population

      Decreasing the "surplus population" comes from a theory called Social Darwinism: the idea that the theory of natural selection can be applied to social and economic issues. The belief was that through Social Darwinism the "weak" would be eliminated, therefore evolving both society and humanity for the better. Social Darwinism stems from Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, in which Darwin states that all living things are in a "struggle for existence." Some philosophers would interpret Darwin's writings to mean that only the strong survive. One such philosopher was Herbert Spencer, who believed that evolution boiled down to "the survival of the fittest." From an economic stand point "the survival of the fittest" would mean that the rich are strong, and therefore should reproduce and thrive, while the poor should be left to die out. Social Darwinism sparked much debate in Dickens' time, and Scrooge represents the mind set of the many scholars and upper class Englishmen who believed in it.

    43. cross

      to be annoyed or irritated

    44. I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.

      To Scrooge money is everything, and so he can't understand why the poor are calling "Merry Christmas" to strangers, smiling, and being all around joyous. Scrooge thinks because they are poor they should be miserable. Yet, Scrooge's nephew turns the tables on him by asking why Scrooge is so dismal, to which Scrooge struggles for an answer. Essentially Scrooge cant figure out why he, a rich man, is so miserable and they, the poor, are so happy.

    45. Humbug

      Humbug by definition, when used as a verb, means: to deceive or trick. By saying "Bah humbug," when confronted with Christmas greetings, Scrooge is dismissing Christmas as a trick or deception. Scrooge believes that Christmas is just an excuse for people to forget their poverty and sorrows, and condemns them for accepting their social status.

    46. counting-house

      Essentially a business concerning the documentation of bank accounts, receipts, and other money related papers.

    47. “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”

      Meaning that either it is better to avoid Scrooge altogether, rather than receive a glare or "evil eye" from him, or that it is better to be blind than to see through an "evil eye," as does Scrooge.

    48. Hamlet’s Father

      In William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet is visited by his father, who tells Hamlet that he had been murdered. Dickens is again using Shakespeare as a means for humor, poking fun at how Shakespeare emphasized the king's death, while also doing the same thing with Marley. Dickens' is also drawing parallels between the two characters: both make a ghostly appearance to warn of imminent danger and both spirits are troubled and tormented after death. With these similarities in mind the question of whether or not Marley is betrayed, just as Hamlet's father was, arises. Perhaps Marley was betrayed, not by another person, but by his own greed.

    49. solemnised it with an undoubted bargain

      Instead of spending money on a lavish funeral for his long standing partner and only friend, Scrooge strikes a "bargain," resulting in a cheap funeral for Marley. Here we begin to get a sense of Scrooge's greed and lack of empathy for those around him.

    50. residuary legatee

      The person in which an estate is left to after the owner is deceased.

    51. dead as a door-nail

      This widely used expression's origins are somewhat vague, dating as far back as the 1300's. The expression grew in popularity with the release of William Shakespeare's Henry VI, and is still used today. Here Dickens questions the use of "door-nail" in the expression, instead of something actually associated with the dead, such as a coffin nail. In reality the "door-nail" is believed to be utilized in the expression, because during the process of securing these large, heavy nails, a carpenter would have to flatten one end in a process called "clinching". Once the nail was secure and "clinched" it would be referred to as "dead": hence "dead as a door-nail." Dickens plays around with the use of "door-nail" for two reasons: one to create a lighthearted and humorous tone, but also to characterize the narrator as insightful and clever, making both Dickens and the narrator more reliable.

    1. "Is it he?" quoth one, "is this the man?   By Him who died on cross, 400  With his cruel bow he laid full low   The harmless Albatross.

      One of the spirits discussing the Mariner.

      Throughout the poem, Coleridge plays with the word crossbow, the weapon the Mariner used to kill the Albatross.


      Coleridge breaks the word up here between two lines. "By Him who died on cross . . . With his cruel bow he laid full blow"

      This marks a direct comparison to the image of Jesus Christ's crucifixion.


      The phrase “cross to bear,” which means a difficult burden or trial, alludes to the cross carried by Jesus to his crucifixion. The Mariner too has a cross to bear, in the form of an albatross weighing him down by the neck. The difference here is that the Mariner, whether purposefully or not, is responsible for his own suffering.

      Works cited: "Cross to Bear." The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Christine Ammer. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2013. Credo Reference. Web. 9 Oct 2015.