“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a truly imaginative work utilizing the familiar yet timeless themes of good fortune, the power of Mother Nature, and adventurous voyages over the sea. The Mariner relates the bone-chilling tale of his adventure to a guest at a wedding in his native country. Although the guest succumbs to the Mariner’s tale, he is eager to get to the wedding, which is about to start. Coleridge chose this occasion for the poem as a form of irony, by providing a stark contrast between the two atmospheres and situations in his poem. The moods of weddings are usually joyful and jubilant, emphasizing love and the union between two people through marriage. However, within this setting, the Mariner relates his eerie story of a frightful, spooky, and somber voyage, which, instead of union, emphasizes the Mariner’s separation and loneliness, as he is doomed with a to watch the death of his crew and suffer alone for days.
Because he killed the albatross, the Mariner suffers a terrible curse, stranded alone on a ship surrounded by his dead crewmates and at the mercy of Mother Nature. An albatross hangs around his neck as a constant reminder to his blunder and the hovering curse. However, the albatross finally falls from the Mariner’s neck, when he begins focusing less on himself and exhibits a greater appreciation and respect for nature’s creatures, mingled with heartfelt remorse for killing the albatross. In Part V, Coleridge writes, “Oh happy living things! no tongue / Their beauty might declare: / A spring of love gushed from my heart, / And I blessed them unaware; / Sure my kind saint took pity on me, / And I blessed them unaware. / The selfsame moment I could pray: / And from my neck so free / The Albatross fell off, and sank / Like lead into the
sea.” Once the Mariner genuinely praises the beauty of the colorful water snakes he sees in the...
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