Geraldine's Trap

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Geraldine's Trap Harnessing the Power of Religious Imagery in Christabel Religious imagery plays an important role in Samuel Coleridge's Christabel. The imagery in the poem can be divided into two categories: the “traditional” Christian symbols as well as the non-traditional/Pagan ones. They combine and help to reveal the true nature of Geraldine, while at the same time providing her with a portal to trap Christabel. This portal closes at the end of the poem when a Christian marriage and love breaks her spell. For the most part, religion is indeed blind as to whom it is helping in Christabel. The prevalence of religious imagery can even be seen in the simplest of places: the title. When taken apart, you are left with two well-known biblical characters: Christ, the Son of God, and Abel, the youngest son of Adam and Eve. Both of these names reflect what goes on in Coleridge's poem. According to the Christian Bible, Christ was betrayed by the Jewish people (his own people) and later put to death. This is very much like how Geraldine, a fellow woman, betrayed Christabel and led her down a path of sin. Like Christ, Abel is an important symbol in Christabel. It is also said that: In process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. / And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: / But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell...And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. (King James Version, Gen. 4.3-8) The younger son Abel represents Christabel, and Abel’s older brother Cain represents Geraldine. In both works, the former is given reason to trust

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