Samuel Coleridge And Edgar Allan Poe Poems

1158 words - 5 pages

Symbols can be a very powerful thing. They can completely transform texts and make them more powerful and significant. Symbols are things in a text that represent other things or have different meanings. There are two different poems that contain similar symbols: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is “A poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about an old sailor who is compelled to tell strangers about the supernatural adventures that befell him at sea after he killed an albatross, a friendly sea bird.” (Kett, Joseph F.).The old mariner killed an albatross, a seabird, and was cursed for disrespecting nature and watched his entire crew die of starvation and thirst because their ship was stuck in a motionless part of the sea with no current and no wind to keep them moving. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short poem about an old man mourning the death of his late wife Lenore. He is sitting in the chair that his wife used to sit in and then a raven showed up and perched itself on a statue. The old man would ask the bird something, and the bird would respond “nevermore” every time. Both of these poems use birds as symbols, yet these birds are very different. The birds in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Raven are very distinct by their appearance, actions, and influence in the poems.
Initially, the raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and the albatross from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, have completely different appearances. The raven is a smaller bird than the albatross and is jet black whereas the albatross is a giant white bird with wings that are bigger than its body, “And round and round it flew” (Mariner, pg. 823, line 68). See and albatross has giant wings because it is able to fly across the Pacific Ocean. Its general appearance however is similar to that of a common seagull, just much larger. According to Carol Brook, albatrosses are, “Large ocean birds found especially from about the Tropic of Capricorn south to Antarctica, having very long, narrow wings, webbed feet, a stout, hooked bill, and black, brown, or mostly white plumage.” (Brook, Carol). Another difference they have in appearance is how a raven has a more sinister looking appearance compared to the albatross. The raven, as mentioned before is jet black, and has beady black eyes with sharp black talons. It is a creepy bird that would appear in horror films and at funerals. The albatross on the other hand is a more magnificent and cheerful looking bird. It is a white bird which is a more calming color compared to black, and it is known to be a sign of good luck.
Furthermore, the actions of each bird from The Rime of an Ancient Mariner and The Raven have dissimilar roles and actions in each poem. First off, the albatross from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a huge symbol of good omens and when it gets killed by the Mariner, it instantly brings a curse among the crew or...

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