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Coleridge divided imagination onto two parts:

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Written by   187
11 months ago

Imagination is the sole element that helps in the creation of any literary work. Here is how S.T. Coleridge's imagination philosophy works. Samuel Taylor Coleridge divides imagination into two parts; the primary and secondary imagination. As the 'Living Power and Prime Agent' the primary imagination is attributed a divine quality, namely the creation of the self the 'I am' However, because it is not subject to human will, the poet has no control over the primary imagination. It is the intrinsic quality of the poet that makes him or her a creator, harking back Wordsworth. The secondary imagination does not have the unlimited power to create, it struggles to attain the ideal but can never reach it. Still the primary governs the secondary, and imagination gives rise to our ideas of perfection.'


It acts dependently of human will.

• It represents the basic agency of human awareness.

• Primary imagination is something that is there in every human being because it is the living power of human perception.

- It is the common faculty of every human being. - It enable us to seperate, divide and order in order to make perception possible.

- And to understand the unity of object.

The primary imagination is a spontaneous creation of new ideas and they are expressed perfectly.

• Primary imagination was for Coleridge, the necessary imagination as it automatically balances and fuses the innate capacities and powers of the mind with the external presence of the objective world that the one receives through the senses.

- Primary imagination is the consciousness shared by all men while the secondary imagination is limited to poets.


It acts in dependently of human will. - It represents the conscious use of human power.

• The creative gift possessed by the poet.

Secondary imagination is rather symbolic, It produces a form its own.

- It helps understanding the unity of universal, like good, divinity, truth, moral

- It represents a superior occulty which could only be associated with artistic genius.

- It is more active and conscious in its working. - Secondary imagination selects and orders the raw material and reshapes and remodels it into objects of beauty.

- It is mitigated by the conscious act of imagination therefore; it is hindered by not only imperfect creation, but also by imperfect expression.

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Written by   187
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