Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Elements of Gothic

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“’Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is a poem that is just too full of the gothic and the unearthly and too removed from reality”. How far do you agree with this statement?

The ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is a poem from the Romantics period in literature and is written by Coleridge who collaborated with Wordsworth on the ‘Lyrical Ballads’. It is about a Mariner who stops one of three wedding guests and tells him a story of when he set sail and all that happens. The poem meddles and swarms in the supernatural and the gothic which adds to the tension and questions surrounding the poem. As the poem is so encased in the other-worldly, we need the grounding of reality to try and collect their thoughts. The wedding quest allows us to have this reprieve as he is questioning the mariner and keeping the reader grounded by answering some questions they may have through the wedding guest. Also, if the poem was too immersed in the supernatural then it would be completely unbelievable.

At the start of the poem, the first words used are “It is”. It allows us to understand that it is in third person but as we do not know who’s talking, it adds to the mystery to the poem leaving the audience mystified from the word go. The line and title finish with the words “ancient Mariner” so it confirms that the mariner is they key focus and main source of all the drama and mystery to follow but by calling him “it”, it leaves the audience wondering whether he is alive or just an apparition. This helps as the mariner could be part of the gothic and other-worldly and was sent to the wedding guest as an omen in itself and to warn others when they set sail in the future.

The main source of the supernatural is in the use of nature and how it interacts with man. In Part 1, nature is supporting man’s journey and helping them with the wind blowing them in their correct direction and with the sun shining. Nature even sent the albatross, which is considered to be a very supernatural and...
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