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How does Coleridge use setting in the first two parts of "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner"?

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Introduction

Coleridge uses setting in the first two parts of 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' to reflect the mood of the poem and represent the metaphysical journey that occurs within the Ancient Mariner. Compass points are used by Coleridge to highlight the different stages that the Ancient Mariner and the sailors go through during their journey. This is because the different compass points are also very symbolic as they each represent an array of different moods and they are used to examine both the physical and spiritual journey that they experience. Their journey begins in the North and Coleridge uses the inherit safety that this compass point implies to juxtapose the start of their journey with the different settings that follow. The North is seen as a place of security because it highlights the safety of being at home. 'The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, and merrily did we drop' highlights the security of the place that they are embarking on their journey from because they are around the people they love. ...read more.

Middle

The personification of the ice portrays nature as some sort of living being that is raging against the ship. This deathly setting highlights the emotions of the spirits from the metaphysical world in reflection to their journey thus implying that the crew's journey is cursed because nature itself is turning against them. This could have been used by Coleridge in order to foreshadow the unjust murder of the Albatross at the hands of the Ancient Mariner, it is almost as if the gods are warning the sailors that they are about to commit evil. The sin itself takes place during almost a suspension of two settings, although on one hand the sailors are still encumbered by snow and fog when they first spot the albatross, it is a symbol of hope for them and it is leading them back to the safety of the north when the Ancient Mariner shoots it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, the west also symbolises a lack of reality and this is prevalent at the end of part two when the Ancient Mariner describes the beasts that lurked within the murky depths of the water. 'Slimy things did crawl with legs' reflects the punishment the Ancient Mariner is receiving for killing the albatross as they are probably a hallucination that is being induced on him by the spiritual beings that are avenging the death of the albatross. This setting is used to reflect the anger of the metaphysical world at the destruction of one of god's natural creations. In conclusion, Coleridge uses setting in the first two parts of the poem to shape the story as each setting is intertwined within the narrative to create the mood of the events. Setting is used to create and change both the tone and mood and it is used throughout the first two parts of the poem to vividly illustrate the journey. ?? ?? ?? ?? How does Coleridge use setting in the first two parts of the poem? Shahan Lake Page 1 ...read more.

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