Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Andy Williams
Mr. Leonaard
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay
The lengthy poem called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written in 1797 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge demonstrates the Mariner’s struggle through the consequences that he is faced with as a result of his actions. This poem is abundant with symbol and metaphor in the manner in which it has been written. The Mariner’s long, grey beard and glittering eye, the Albatross, and the Sun and Moon are all objects of symbolism and metaphor that are evident in this poem.

The first bit of symbolism in this poem is demonstrated when the ancient Mariner is described as having a “long grey beard and glittering eye,” (Coleridge 3). This “glittering eye” is a symbol of the unknown, and gives the reader a sensation of mystery as the ancient Mariner pulls the wedding guest into a state of trance and total concentration. It is used to catch the reader’s interest to continue reading and to make the reader eager to know what the ancient Mariner is going to tell the wedding guest. The way that the ancient Mariner’s eyes are describes as “glittering” also symbolize that he is so passionate and excited about what he is about to tell the wedding guest and that it is bound to be an emotional story because glittering eyes can mean that tears are about to fall from them. These can be either tears of joy, or sadness, and the reader becomes anxious to figure out which emotion the story brings. The physical attribute of the ancient Mariner having a “long grey beard” is an archetypal symbol of experience and wisdom. This physical characteristic gives the reader an understanding that the man is old, and with age comes experience and wisdom. This gives the reader the assumption that the ancient Mariner has a story filled with wisdom and experience to pass on to the wedding guest. The physical appearance of the ancient Mariner having a “long grey beard and glittering eye,” (Coleridge 3) are examples...
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