As a product of the complex discursive web of the 18th century, the Orientalist Coleridge could not act out of such historical forces as colonialism that had gone into shaping him and his poetry.He, in post colonial discourse, was unable to go parallel with the theory of ‘Arts for Arts sake’ and ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’. In Kubla Khan,Coleridge is trying to establish the heagemony of Abyssinian Christianity which according to him is more pure and can only be revived by colonizers by the song of Abyssinian maid. These lines make this idea more clear:
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome within the air!
It is showing his hatred of corrupt religion of the East. His desire is to free mankind from political tyranny of tyrannical despots represented in the figure of Kubla. Although Kubla Khan was the conqueror and master of the world ... in Coleridge's view he was really no more than a passing historical representative cast up from the central 'Romantic chasm' . Kubla, a man of military skill and known for his administrative capabilities was called by the Mongols as Setsen Khan (The Wise Khan). He conquered China and established the Mongol dynasty, unifying the nation for the first time since the T'ang regime. Following the teachings of his mother, he tolerated all religions in the area, helping to win acceptance of Mongol rule by the Chinese.This shows how Coleridge uses religious institution in colonial discourse.
Analysis of ‘Kubla Khan’ regarding Colonial Ideology:
The operation of ideologies through contemporary texts was so strong that Coleridge felt he had the right to change his material in order to suit his and his audience’s Western appetite. It was Western reconstruction of the Middle East Culture that was always a source of imagination to him.The identification of the...