Literary Commentary for Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts” is a romantic fantasy ballad written in 1817. The title states the adventures and journeys of a cursed sailor. The story is told by an omniscient narrator with the use of the iambic tetrameter and trimeter. Within the omniscient narrator there is another persona, the ancient Mariner who tells his story to the wedding Guest. The rhyme scheme is abcb. The plot starts with the Mariner pulling aside the wedding Guest to tell him his story. The Mariner compels the wedding Guest to listen to him using his glittering eye. In his story, the Mariner tells how he set out in a sea voyage with two hundred men to the South. During the voyage they come across an albatross, which is seen as a good omen for the sailors as it guides them through the sea. For no reason the Mariner shoots the bird with his crossbow. His fellow sailors scold him for killing the holy bird but when nothing seems to happen they let him be. This makes them partners in the crime. As time passed the curse starts to show itself. The wind stops as the sailors run out of water. One by one each of them die, except the Mariner. Before they die the men make the Mariner wear the dead Albatross around his neck as a sign of his burden. They die their eyes open and curse the Mariner once more. The Mariner is left alone in the sea witnessing slimy creatures climb upon the deck and swim in the sea. When he appreciates the “slimy creatures’” beauty and blesses them the curse on him starts to lift and the albatross falls from his neck, sinking in the sea. The poem continues with the nature and the supernatural world stepping in and helping him return back home, also deciding on his fate. At the end he finally arrives home, his ship sinks and he is rescued by a Hermit who announces him his fate. In the poem Coleridge highly makes use of poetic devices such as symbolism, irony, personification, metaphor, simile and onomatopoeia. Coleridge used...
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