Christian Aleegory in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Topics: Christianity, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jesus Pages: 4 (1377 words) Published: March 28, 2006
Christian Allegory in "The Rime of an Ancient Mariner"
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of an Ancient Mariner" is a lyrical ballad that seems more like a miniature epic. However, not only it is a ballad talking about the adventure of an old mariner who is cursed for life because he kills an albatross; deeper than that, it is also a religious allegory conveying numerous themes pertaining to Christianity. On the one hand, if one reads "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" simply as a tale at sea, the poem stands remarkable because of its simple rhyme and easy flow. On the other hand, if one reads deeper into the intricate details, symbolism, themes, and literary aspects, Coleridge will therefore have produced a masterpiece. Furthermore, many critics agree that there are several religious connotations in this ballad; however, very few agree upon it being a religious allegory carrying a main religious theme that reflects Christian beliefs. This paper will discuss all the possible religious notions conveyed in Coleridge's artwork.

Christianity preaches that life is a trial by which we either pass and go to heaven, or fail and go to purgatory. Also, the human body is a victim of the human thought and action, which is represented by the soul. Therefore, in relation to the ballad, we can refer to the ship as the human body and the Mariner who steers the ship and leads it to destruction as the human soul. This ship led by the Mariner goes through a trial of storm and winds, but fails because of the Mariner. In Christianity, when a person is over with the trial (dies), his body rots away, "…for dust you are and to dust you will return," (Genesis 3:16 – 19), and the soul remains alive, either tortured, or pleased. The ship sinks. However, the Mariner becomes a captive of Life-in-Death (purgatory) and remains perpetually cursed for the mistake he has done.

Another symbolism conveyed through Coleridge's ballad is the Albatross that symbolizes Jesus Christ. When things...
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