Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a poem which forged the beginnings of the romantic era in which Coleridge lived. Whilst still containing vivid imagery characteristic of the romantic era, its ballad form and its internal archaisms reflect another more ancient period of literature, though no specific one. Part three of the poem entails the mariner recounting the crew's thirst and the sighting of the ship, which turned out to be a form of ghost ship which carried Death and the personified nightmare Living Death. Death and Living Death gambled with dice and Living Death won, upon which it instantly became night and the entire crew bar the mariner died, though not before cursing him with their eyes. The "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is overflowing with various poetic devices which serve to create the illusion of an historical poem and emphasise Coleridge's message, which is, in its simplest form, a romantic notion to love all of God's creatures.
The twelfth stanza of the third part of the text is a turning point in the part as it goes from description of the nightmare living death to actual actions. It recounts the two figures gambling presumably for the control of the Mariner's fate after his murder of the albatross- death or living death. The stanza has the rhyming pattern abcb and has assonance occurring throughout the first three lines. the assonance occurs in the words came, twain and game and serves to decorate the sound of the poem, the elongated vowel sounds creating a sense of ancient chanting, reinforcing the superficial illusion Coleridge wishes to create of the poem being written in ages past. If the readers succumb to this suspension of disbelief, then the poem takes on a mystical air of anonymity- who is the mariner, when was the poem written, who is the wedding guest? This wonder and questioning that the poem arouses in readers gives its message more emphasis. In the third line of the stanza there is internal rhyme "done!...
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