The Evidence of Christianity in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
In the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Coleridge, it is evident that there is a deeper meaning behind what is written. This poem is not just about a man that has been cursed on his ship. It is much more than that. Throughout the entire poem the theme of Christianity is shown significantly. There is an abundance of Christian symbolism used by Samuel Coleridge to present his message to the reader. The poem is an account of a person’s sin, punishment, and redemption.
There is obvious evidence of Christian symbols in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there are “mention[s] of Christ, Mary Queen, Heaven, Spirits blest, Him who died on the cross, penance, Dear Lord in Heaven, a holy hermit, and shrieving” (Gose 239). In part one of the poem the Mariner states “as if it had a Christian soul, we hailed it in God’s name” (Coleridge 65-66). The Mariner and the crew speak of the albatross as if it was from God. They are aware that it is a gift to them. The crew and the Mariner both know that it is a blessing from God and the Mariner still proceeds to kill it. That is where the evidence of sin begins in the poem. The poem can be compared to the story of Paul in the Bible. Paul was once a persecutor of Christians; he tried to remove Christianity as a whole. God then appeared to him and showed him his mercy and redemption and changed his life. Paul then became one of the most instrumental witnesses of Christianity. He went throughout the Middle East telling his story to anyone willing to listen. Just like Paul, the Mariner sinned and was shown grace by God.
In Christianity, every sin that is committed is carried as a burden. Just like sin, the albatross is a symbol of sin. Throughout the poem the Mariner is shown “as an active, sympathetic sufferer engaging with guilt [and] sin” (Hillier 13). The Mariner carries the albatross with him as his burden, this is shown...
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