Topics: Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth Pages: 6 (2494 words) Published: January 24, 2013
University of sarajevo
Faculty of philosophy
English department

Poezija engleskog predromantizma

Essay topic :

● The Ancient Mariner, anti hero or a romantic hero

Student: Mentor : ● Introduction
Written in 1797 and first published in 1798, „The rime of the Ancient Mariner“ has been interpreted as both a tale of the supernatural, in the Gothic tradition of superstition, magic spells, gloomy atmosphere, and treacherous journey, a religious allegory, or a morality story embedded within a tale of the Mariner's fate after killing a bird. But the circumstances behind the creation of this tale were actually quite mundane. Coleridge along with Wordsworth decided to write a Gothic ballad, a type of poetry Coleridge remembered from his childhood, and they planned to publish it in the Monthly Magazine. As a result „The rime of the Ancient Mariner“was created. When it was finished it was more complex than the Gothic tradition which influenced it. It became in a way a modern revision of the medieval allegory with which it bears a striking resemblance. Some critics say that the poem itself is a retelling of a strange dream by one of Coleridge’s neighbors in Nether Stowey. The story of the poem is told like a story inside a story. We have a Mariner who detained three wedding guests somewhere on the road to tell them a story. One of the guests is the „chosen one“and the Mariner detained him with some sort of a magic, the guest was „bound by the eye“and had to listen to the Mariner. So the Mariner starts his story, how he was a sailor on a ship, they had some trouble at sea, and for reasons not known to him he killed an albatross which till that time brought the ship and the crew only good weather and good wind. But he shoots him anyway, and then his problems begin. The ship encountered problems at sea, then came the Death and Life in Death to punish him for his crime, and with the throw of a dice Life in Death won, so all of the crew died and the Mariner was destined to life in death for eternity and he roams the world telling the story of his doom. The main idea of the poem is the killing of the albatross, why did he do it? Fear of the unknown, some internal force made him do it, or something just clicked in his head and he did it. But the fact is that the act of the killing is the beginning of his end. It all goes down from there, the Mariner itself said that he cannot explain his actions, he can't explain why did he kill the bird, and with that destined the ship, the crew and himself to doom. Maybe the act itself was the disruption of nature, taking an integral part of nature by your own will and then nature decided to punish the Mariner, or it was a disruption of the Christian dogma, do not kill unless you need to. There are an infinite number of possibilities. But the bigger question is did the Mariner deserved to be seen as a hero here or is he a villain? By killing the bird he doomed not just himself but the whole crew. His punishment was severe and when we take everything into an account we have to look at him as some sort of a romantic hero. He is haunted by his fallen shipmates, for whose death he is to blame, but he accepts his punishment and try’s to take as much from it as he can. ● The Ancient Mariner as a Romantic hero

The characteristic progression of a Romantic narrative describes the hero's journey from a state of innocence to one of sad wisdom. This is also reflected in the poem as we see the Mariner commit a dangerous sin, the one of killing the albatross which eventually causes his demise. The act itself is one of the most confusing parts of the poem, because we cannot say with certainty what made him do it. The albatross brought good weather, and good wind to the ship, and he played with the sailor, followed the ship as some sort of a „good omen“, but the Mariner killed him. Why? Till that moment the...
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