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

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 the inherent struggle of humans facing the ideas of sin and redemption. In writing this poem, Coleridge spent four months of sustained writing upon his purpose of supposing that supernatural situations are real. This purpose is seen clearly in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which demonstrates salvation, and the power of sympathetic imagination. The story of the ancient mariner takes place on a sea voyage around the horn of Africa and through the Pacific Ocean to England, which Coleridge uses to symbolize the pass into the spirit world of guilt, retribution, and rebirth.
In discussing the symbolism of guilt in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", it is important to understand that in the eyes of the Romantics God was one with Nature. Because of this belief a sin against Nature was seen as a sin against God. In line 82 of the poem, the Mariner simply says, "I shot the Albatross." In saying this, the reader often questions why the bird was shot. There is no explanation. The Albatross was shot without reason or motive very much like the sin of humans. Here the poem begins to take on its allegorical purpose in which the Albatross symbolizes not only sin, but possibly Jesus as well. In Christianity, Jesus died upon the cross for the sins of humanity. He was punished in order for humankind to be forgiven. Like Jesus, the Albatross died not for its own sins, but rather for the sins of humans--the sin of the Mariner.
In order for the Mariner to be forgiven of this sin he must first admit his guilt. In lines 91 through 96 he does so by saying,
"And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!"
It is this admission of guilt that allows the process of forgiveness for the Mariner to begin. It also allows the Albatross to become a reminder of the Mariner's sin, a representation of Christ's suffering, and a symbol of the Christian cross. In lines 40 and 41 it says, "Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung."
The next symbolic theme in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is that of retribution. In lines 143-146 Coleridge illustrates a time of draught for the sailors on the voyage. Without any water to drink they are suffering. This symbolizes the spiritual draught that humans face in Christianity. Without the love for Christ humans are thirsting for spiritual enlightenment and forgiveness--without which they...

Find Another Essay On The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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

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

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

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

1708 words - 7 pages Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a poem about a lone sailor who survives a disastrous voyage at sea. Believing himself to be responsible for this tragedy he dooms himself to recount his tale to strangers. The most common interpretation of this poem is the religious view of crime and punishment. Early in the poem the Mariner shoots an albatross a symbol of good luck. Since it is a moral wrong to shoot the

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1137 words - 5 pages Prompt:Trace the Mariner's guilt/atonement (giving examples oh his sin, punishment, penance and wisdom learned). Pay special attention to the poem's SHIFT and relate it to a major THEME in the poem.Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," tells of a journey undergone by a sailor known as the Mariner. The Mariner's journey is not just physical, but of a spiritual nature as well, with the ultimate destination of enlightenment

Symbolism in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

1778 words - 7 pages In 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge published his poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Several editions followed this, the most notable being the 1815 version, which included a gloss. This poem has grown to become well known and debated, especially concerning the message that Coleridge was attempting to impart. The interpretation of the poem as a whole and of various characters, settings, and objects has been the subject of numerous essays

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

Theme of Christianity in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

983 words - 4 pages all creatures, just like he should have the Albatross, does he receive the ability to pray, thus granting direct access to God. Throughout the course of the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Coleridge signifies many parallels to the Christian religion. While on a superficial level Coleridge’s ballad might appear as an epic adventure of an old mariner, in reality this religious allegory represents Christian ideals such as sin, forgiveness, and

Comparison: Frankenstein & The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

1969 words - 8 pages did it to disguise her own voice as a woman; even her husband, Percy Shelley, wrote the first preface to Frankenstein pretending to be her. On the other hand, in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there cannot be found as many narrators as in Frankenstein, but it remain being a frame narration as well. The narrative has two levels: first there is the story of the Mariner and the wedding guest, and then there is the story within the story

Similar Essays

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

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

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

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