This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Critical Analysis Of Coleridge's "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner"

2498 words - 10 pages

Samuel Taylor Coleridge presents a complex web of themes and symbols within the seemingly simple plot line of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The story of the seafarer with the 'glittering eye' (1.13) and his puzzling tale at sea told to an unwilling listener, the Wedding Guest, unfolds into a multifaceted array of planned sequences, heavy religious undertones, and hints at a biographical account of Coleridge's past. If one reads The Rime of the Ancient Mariner simply as a tale at sea, the poem stands as a remarkable one with its continuous simple rhyme scheme and easy flow of speech. And if one reads deeper into the intricate symbolism, themes and significant subject matter, Coleridge's masterpiece becomes even more brilliant. An examination of the poem on both levels proves Coleridge's genius.The plot line is told in the third person and is about the Mariner's first person account of his trip at sea. A narrative effect is accomplished with this choice, and although it takes away from the poetic feel, it gives the poem a more story-like flow. Characters include a protagonist, the Mariner, and a listener, the Wedding Guest, presumed to be the audience. Coleridge introduces his tale by describing the old, gray-headed sailor who approaches three young men headed for a wedding celebration and compels one of them, the groom's next-of-kin, to hear his story. At first the intrusion is resented, but the sailor's story becomes remarkably compelling. The listener falls captive to the building suspense, responding with fear, and later with horror as the tale unfolds.The Mariner tells of a storm at sea, how he and his crew were blown off course towards the South Pole, and how a good omen, an albatross, came to guide them back to the north. But the good omen soon turns into a nuisance. The Mariner shoots it, bringing bad luck to the ship and crew, as he showed no regard for living things. Death and his mate, Life-in-Death, come to the ship and battle over who will control. Death wins the ship; Life-in-Death wins over the Mariner, sparing his life, but giving death as the crew's fate. For seven days and seven nights the Mariner is forced to confront the open, accusing eyes of his dead shipmates. He curses the sea creatures that squirm around him, proving to Life-in-Death that the Mariner has not learned his lesson. Only when the Mariner praises the living things, when he "blessed them unaware", (1.285) is the curse broken. Spirits then fill the bodies of his dead crewmates, and the ship sailed homeward. Soon the spirits depart and are replaced by "A man all light, a seraph man"(1.490) that shines light on the homeland. A small rescue boat comes alongside the Mariner's ship and a loud noise rushes through the water, splitting and sinking the boat, throwing the Mariner into the sea. He is brought into the boat and the sight of him terrified everyone in it. The rescue boat reached shore and the Mariner runs to the Hermit of the Wood to beg for forgiveness from...

Find Another Essay On Critical Analysis of Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

A Biographical Analysis Of "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner"

1874 words - 8 pages "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is a somewhat lengthy poem concerning the paranormal activities of a sea mariner and his crew. The work was constructed to be the beginning piece in Lyrical Ballads, a two-volume set written by William Wordsworth and Coleridge. Wordsworth intended to, in his volume, make the ordinary seem extraordinary, while Coleridge aimed to make the extraordinary ordinary. "The Rime" was first

Coleridges "the Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

793 words - 3 pages Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner      Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is wrote in a way that the reader is expected to temporarily allow him or herself to believe it to be able to understand it. The poem itself is about a Mariner who is telling his tale of sin and forgiveness by God to a man referred to as the "Wedding Guest." The Mariner is supposedly responsible for the

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

898 words - 4 pages The Rime of the Ancient Mariner The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as a product of its culturally inscribed author, presents a confused Unitarian world view consistent with that of the Romantic Movement of its time. It attempts to exemplify this view within an unpredictable and often mysterious universe, and by rebuking the hegemonic ideologies held by the text’s cultural antagonists, seeks to grant the awareness of an often unreasonable

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

2185 words - 9 pages In an article on sin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge defines sin as “an evil which has its ground or origin in the agent, and not in the compulsion of circumstances.” (65). Coleridge’s definition of sin excludes any outside cause of sin, besides the agent himself. Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem of sin, but it is also a poem that questions etiology. John Livingston Lowes writes “The relentless line of cause and consequence

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

991 words - 4 pages 1. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a poem about the struggles a mariner goes through on his voyage on the sea. It is said that, “the dead men stood together,” on his ship’s deck. The curse that has caused his sailors to die is not specified and also not forgotten by the captain. The ship continues to sail as, “there breathed a wind on [the mariner]”. The wind gust only blew on the sailor and the hairs on his neck proceeded to stand up

The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

1159 words - 5 pages The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner According to Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, an allegory is described as a fictional literary narrative or artistic expression that conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but distinct from, and more important than, the literal meaning. This is true in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is an allegory that symbolizes

Use of Imagery in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

770 words - 3 pages Untitled Imagery The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the best poem of S.T. Coleridge. It is a long but highly enjoyable text in English literature and is read by hundreds of thousands of students around the world. This poem has remained alive since it was first published and is one of the most famous poems in English literature. In this poem, the poet S.T. Coleridge has used imagery extensively and throughout the poem we can

Use of Symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

1124 words - 4 pages Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s use of symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner lends the work to adults as a complex web of representation, rather than a simple story about a sailor. The author uses the story of a sailor and his adventures to reveal aspects of life. This tale follows the Mariner and his crew as they travel between the equator and the South Pole, and then back to England. Without the symbols, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner would

Theme of Christianity in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

983 words - 4 pages A significant theme in Samuel Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," is Christianity, which is portrayed through the Mariner’s epic journey. This text is set between the physical world and the metaphysical (spiritual world), similar to religious teachings found in the Bible. With the use of vivid descriptions and strong language in this ballad, moral lessons appear that connect both man and God in order to discover an innate bond and

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

1708 words - 7 pages . The Mariner was unable to do this ever since his youth and, thus suffered for the rest of his life. Works Cited Coleridge, Samuel. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature The Age of Romanticism. Ed. Joseph Black ... [et al.]. 2nd ed. Buffalo: Broadview Press, 2012. 415-424. Print. White, Harry. "Coleridge's Uncertain Agony." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900.Vol. 49, No. 4, The Nineteenth Century (2009): 807-39. JSTOR. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

ballad form in the rime of the ancient mariner

1289 words - 5 pages Some Readers think the ballad form limits their interest in The Ancient Mariner. What is your view of Coleridge's use of this form? In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge employs the ballad form to contrast the traditional with the exotic through this he forms a poem full of supernatural elements that is easily accessible. The ballad form was a typical form of medieval poetry that was revived by the Romantics as it symbolised a

Similar Essays

Coleridge's "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner"

844 words - 3 pages Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is wrote in a way that the reader is expected to temporarily allow him or herself to believe it to be able to understand it. The poem itself is about a Mariner who is telling his tale of sin and forgiveness by God to a man referred to as the 'Wedding Guest.' The Mariner is supposedly responsible for the death of all of the crew on his ship because of his killing of a creature which was to bring

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

2027 words - 9 pages Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” seems like a simple story of a man lost at sea and defeating the odds, but if you hone in on the visual and aural details you see that it’s much more. The whole story revolves around the theme of religious transformation and Coleridge uses these visual and aural symbols to convey and drive home this theme. He starts the story immediately with a lot of detail creating the setting of

Critical Lens Essay On Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

1038 words - 4 pages nature. All of these elements combined to create the most renowned poem during the Romantic Period. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a creative poem due to it's splendid use of imagery. Imagery helps to make Coleridge's poem romantic because it is a powerful tool that articulates a message in creative and descriptive detail. Imagery is often referred to as "the sensations that language creates in the mind". According to dictionary.com, imagery

Critical Lens Essay On Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

992 words - 4 pages Romantic period had much more artistic freedom than the periods before it, Coleridge was able to use supernatural beings as a major theme in his poem.Lastly, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is romantic because it is abstract and uses the theme of nature to show that people must love all living things. Coleridge created this abstract atmosphere by using literary elements such as theme and symbol. One example of Coleridge's use of symbolism is in the