The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: No Evil Deed Shall Go Unpunished

Topics: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Albatross, Soul Pages: 3 (908 words) Published: May 10, 2009
Daren McConnell, Jr.

Dr. Melker

English 112

18 March 2009

Final Paper

As one would say no good deed goes unrewarded. Coleridge, in his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, tells the tale that no evil deed shall go unpunished. For every action there is an appropriate consequence equal to or greater than the original action. Coleridge explains this in his poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, through the crime committed by the ancient Mariner and the events bestowed upon him as seemed fit by the spiritual world.

The albatross came to the side of the Mariner’s ship and served as a guide for it. “At lengths did cross an albatross through the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, we hailed it in God’s name.”(64-66). Coleridge tells us that the albatross was a natural living gift from the spiritual world. The Ancient Mariner however commits the crime of killing the Albatross. “God save thee, Ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus! Why look’st thou so? With my cross bow I shot the Albatross!”(78-82). Because the Ancient Mariner took the life of a living creature, the right belonging only to the spiritual world, the spiritual beings punish the Mariner in multiple ways.

The first way in which the spirits punished the Mariner was through the physical actions of nature. As soon as the bird was killed the wind that propelled the ship became silent. The Ancient Mariner soon realized the consequences of his actions, “for all averred, I had killed the bird that made the breeze to blow.”, then suddenly “down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down, Twas sad as sad could be; and we did speak only to break the silence of the sea!” (35).Since the Albatross was a gift from the spirits it can be seen as a symbolic symbol. Without the ship moving, the crew and Mariner became stranded and tortured by thirst and a hot blinding sun. “All in a hot and copper sky…water water, everywhere nor a drop to drink.” (35). Since the...
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