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Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Beginning with a close analysis of the extract, consider the view that the gothic elements provide some of the poem's finest moments.

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Introduction

Rime of the Ancient Mariner Beginning with a close analysis of the extract, consider the view that the gothic elements provide some of the poem's finest moments. Charles Tomlinson scrutinises the Rime of the Ancient Mariner 'as a refined tale of terror, and exercise in poetic heightening of the Gothic...at a deeper and more psychological level'. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has been acclaimed to be one of many original works of Gothic literature along side Horace Walpole's novel 'The Castle of Otranto', because of its supernatural, horrific and romantic elements that are brought together within its narrative and language. The Mariner's killing of the albatross, the terrifying death of his shipmates, and the grotesque descriptions of the supernatural spirits are chief gothic mediums in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner that perhaps intend to develop the story. From the very first lines of the extract in Chapter 4 it is coherent that as the Ancient Mariner drifts in the ocean the natural world becomes more threatening with supernatural and uncanny facets. ...read more.

Middle

and infact there is one or thousands of other living 'things' in his natural surroundings, which he soon comes to appreciate by blessing. Another simple gothic technique that Coleridge implies is the use of exclamation; for instance 'The many men, so beautiful !' emphasises his despise for the dead soldiers who are peaceful and calm, something that he longs for as he believes death is the only way to be rid of his damnation and release his soul. The enjambment within the first stanza 'never a saint took pity on/My soul in agony' shows a clear differentiation of the saint that the Mariner holds in a high devout perspective and that he seeks sympathy or mercy from, and the connotation that the devil is in hold of his cursed soul because of his sinful actions. This metonymic image as well as the sailors' corpses that refuse to rot, with their open eyes cursing him continuously, provokes the idea that the visible manifestation of the living death awaits him. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the opening lines of the poem, it is foreseeable that the mariner's 'glittering eye' has captured the wedding guest possessing him to listen, just as the reader is enchanted too. Although the image illustrated in the reader's mind that the persona is unnaturally old or the association the 'glittering eye' has with supernatural stories and fairy tales, it is also prominent that the it has connotations with the 'evil eye'. This in some perspective forebodes the misfortune the mariner and sailors experience during their voyage and moreover accentuates the damnation his soul and eyes possess. To conclude I believe that Coleridge's use of Gothic elements is what makes the poem so astonishing and unique. Its technical language heightens the emotion and exaggeration in the poem. The grotesque and supernatural components are what keep the reader transfixed and possessed throughout and after reading the poem. Moreover this all contributes to the fact that most of the finest moments of the poem are because of its gothic fiction. The poem is more than 'gothic curiosity', but infact one of the most discussed epics of its times known for its gothic fiction. ...read more.

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