Five Questions: Chris Murray on Tragic Coleridge

By admin

Chris Murray - Tragic Coleridge

Chris Murray is currently a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies at Durham University. Previously, he completed a PhD at the University of Warwick, worked at the University of Bristol and taught for two years at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research focuses on dialogues between British Romanticism and works and discourses in other national, historical and generic traditions. His first monograph, Tragic Coleridge, which we discuss in the interview below, was published by Ashgate last year.

1) How did you first become interested in Coleridge’s uses of tragedy?

I’ve always been interested in Classics, and there are many allusions to ancient literature in Coleridge’s poems. In particular, Coleridge’s discussion of the ancient tragic trilogy caught my attention. He suggests that all Greek tragedies formed part of a trilogy whose outcome was ultimately positive. He wrote a play according to that very model, called Zapolya, which was staged in London in 1818. The flavour of that play is closer to The Winter’s Tale than to King Oedipus, because the idea of restoration accords with Coleridge’s sense of how tragedy …read more