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George Crabbe's Use Of Opium In Literature

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The Romantic period is one of the most celebrated periods in the history of literature as it is in this period that imagination, inspiration and nature were given the maximum importance and upheld as themes. However the use of ‘opium’ plays a vital role as many of the authors used it, with or without the knowledge of its side effect. Opium was often prescribed as medicine, given that; it was almost two centuries before when there was not much advancement in medicine. If a person used opium they are detached from the real world and their feelings. George Crabbe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are well-known writers of Victorian era who used opium and the vanishing visions under the influence of opium are seen in their works. George Crabbe is considered to be much successful compared to his peers as he had two careers. As a poet he was influenced by the Neo-classical poets. He abandoned his career as a doctor in order to pursue literary life (Abrams, 1971). He took opium for about forty years with no ill effects but started it when his physician prescribed him to take it for his severe indigestion. However for the last eighteen years of his life he…show more content…
At the same time it would be inappropriate for us to admire their work by referring to their works as a result under the influence of opium. It would be totally unfair and a biased judgement. Our judgements would be inclined towards them for their use of opium. In such a situation one could approach to it as a genius inspired by his wild imagination and not blame opium for the shift. For example in the poem Kubla Khan by Coleridge, the imagination is quite exotic and wild but at the same time there is a strong flow in the language and description. Had it been totally a result of being under the influence of opium, we would also see a shift in his language or it would be
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