Abstract

The distinction between symbol and allegory laid out by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Statesman's Manual (1816) has long been a central allusion for the contemporary theoretical canon. However, poststructuralist interest in the passage has obscured the original political context of Coleridge's seminal critical definition, which has as yet been unremarked in the scholarly literature. This paper argues that the conceptions of symbol and allegory that Coleridge offers are inseparable from his political concerns and in particular that symbol is a class-determined category urged upon those with sufficient leisure and education for reflection, while allegory is disparaged as a monstrosity of Jacobin abstraction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 763-779
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-06
Open Access
No
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