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Good , Great Man, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Type: Poetry Views: 461

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"How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits

Honour or wealth with all his worth and pains!

It sounds like stories from the land of spirits

If any man obtain that which he merits

Or any merit that which he obtains."

Reply to the Above

For shame, dear friend, renounce this canting strain!

What would'st thou have a good great man obtain?

Place? titles? salary? a gilded chain?

Or throne of corses which his sword had slain?

Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends!

Hath he not always treasures, always friends,

The good great man? three treasures, LOVE, and LIGHT,

And CALM THOUGHTS, regular as infant's breath:

And three firm friends, more sure than day and night,



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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: analysis :.

First published in The Morning Post on September 23, 1802, “The Good, Great Man” is a poem of many extravagant ideas. Its irregular rhyming scheme, and reply to the first section exemplifies Coleridge’s philosophical thinking.
In the first section of this poem, the poet is complaining how great men often do not inherit what they should; “How seldom, friend! A good great man inherits honour or wealth with all his worth and pains” (Selected). Coleridge is mimicking thoughts of his fellow man, who believe if you are a great man and do great things, than you should obtain great things like wealth and honor.
In the reply to the first section of the poem, Coleridge is saying, shame on you fellow men for thinking what was just written. He goes on to say that good and great men always have treasure and friends, and that “greatness and goodness are not means but ends” (Selected). Coleridge is trying to say that goodness and greatness is not a way to receive a reward, and that they are the reward. There are three treasures and three firm friends, the three treasures are: Love, Light (knowledge), and calm thoughts (piece of mind). The three firm friends are: Himself, His Maker, and the Angel Death. One of the great man’s friends is “Angel Death”, because the great man is not afraid to die since he has lived his life to the fullest.

| Posted on 2005-12-11 | by Approved Guest

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