Samuel Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a Romantic ballad in seven parts, with fairly regular quatrains. Its short sentence structure develops steady movement, allowing to the reader’s engagement to grow as the tale progresses and the speaker’s message is unveiled. The tetrameter structure reveals an explanation of the title; the Ancient Mariner orally recites his tale, teaching a universal lesson on nature’s value and the earth’s deserving of respect. Coleridge uses both dialogue and varying perspective to establish a credibility in his work. An omniscient narrator speaks of an instance where the “bright-eyed” Mariner tells his story to a wedding-guest and the effect the tale has on him; “a sadder and a wiser man, / He rise the morrow morn” (Coleridge 624-625). Coleridge often utilizes the effect of exclamation points when the Mariner is speaking to convey his passion, as in “Farewell, farewell! but this I tell / To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! / He prayeth well, who loveth well / Both man and bird and beast” (610-613). By capitalizing the first letter in various important words, Coleridge successfully enables to the reader to interpret a symbolic meaning behind the select terms. For instance, “Albatross,” though not a proper noun, is capitalized in each reference he makes to the creature yet when referring to the “water-snakes” and the “sky-lark” Coleridge does not capitalize the terms as they hold less symbolic value in the Mariner’s tale.
‘Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.
The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.’
The Albatross is capitalized to depict the pure innocence and divinity of nature and God’s creations. Further interpretation also shows Coleridge’s capitalization of the Albatross to allude to Jesus Christ.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” is a comforting and uplifting Victorian Era poem about the end of life’s journey. Tennyson’s calm language and peaceful imagery envelop the reader in consoling compassion rather than a miserable mourning at the thought of a loved-one's passing. He introduces the dwindling of life’s candle as he opens with a metaphor beautifully comparing life ending and death to “sunset and evening star” (Tennyson 1). Hoping for the end to be as painless as the sunset Tennyson alludes to the sound of the ocean thrusting against the sandbar, “And may there be no moaning of the bar, / When I put out to sea” (Tennyson 3-4). Tennyson’s word choice throughout the extended metaphor of this poem impels the reader to think carefully about what his meaning is, rather than take the literal sense. For instance, when Tennyson refers to turning “home again” his home is not...