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"The Ancient Mariner".

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The poem was written in structured verses and contained a balanced amount of rhyme in each verse. It contained nineteenth century ideas about superstition and death which made it more similar to the novel, but only had one plot with one main character. The story of "The Ancient Mariner" is set at sea and is about a man who was punished because he offended nature In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner his imagination seems to think up some supernatural occurrences. When he sees life and death play a game to see what will happen to him, " Are these her ribs through which the sun, did pear as through a grate? And is that women all her crew? Is that a death? And are there two? Is death that women's mate? Her lips were red her looks were free he locks were yellow as gold her skin was as white as leprosy. The nightmare life-in-death was she, who thicks man's blood with cold. The naked hulk alongside came and the twain were casting dice; the game is done! I've won! I've won! Quoth she and whistles thrice." Death and life-in-death have diced for the ships crew and she won the Ancient Mariner, in other words he stayed alive and he had to carry on with life. Later on he sees the dead men rising, "I woke and we w from essaybank.co.uk ere sailing on, as in a gentle weather twas night calm night, the man was high the dead men stood together, all together on the deck, far a charnel-dungeon ...read more.


Everyone took this as a good omen, and the bird followed the ship faithfully as it returned northward. Then, one day, weary of the bird's incessant and now unnerving presence, the Mariner shot the albatross with his crossbow - and brought the curse down upon them all. The south wind continued to propel them northward, but somehow the old sailor realized he had done "a hellish thing"; retribution would soon follow, in the form of loneliness and spiritual anguish, like that of Adam when he fell from God's grace. The crew at first berated their mate for killing the bird that had brought the change in the breeze. But as the ship made its way out of the fog and mist and continued on, they decided it must be the bird that had brought the mist. Perhaps their shipmate had rightfully killed it after all. The vessel sailed on northward until it reached the equator, where the breeze ceased and the craft became becalmed. After days without a breath of wind, it was decided by all that an avenging spirit had followed them from the land of mist and snow, leaving them surrounded only by foul water. With the unabsolved curse thus restored, the thirsting crew angrily hung the dead albatross around the Mariner's neck, as a symbol of his guilt. Time lost all meaning. The lips of the men baked and their eyes glazed over for want of water. I looked to heaven, and tried to pray; But or ever a prayer had gusht, A wicked whisper came, and made My heart as dry as dust. ...read more.


But whenever the curse again darkens his soul, he recognizes the face of a man with whom he must share his message of love and reverence for God's creation: He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all. The Wedding Guest, incidentally, never does go on to the wedding. So moved is he by the mood of the Mariner, that when the old man vanishes, he also departs, "a sadder and a wiser man.") Commentary There are critics who contend that The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is autobiographical in its strange, imaginative theme and storyline. Coleridge, even this early in his writing, was haunted by remorse for his addiction to opium, which he had first taken to relieve pain as a patient at Christ's Hospital. But whether or not the poem actually served as a catharsis for its author's guilt, it stands on its own merits. Coleridge's interests always lay with the exotic and the supernatural, which he hoped to make more real for his readers by employing simple, straightforward language in an archaic English ballad form. In this relatively brief poem, he succeeds in making the extraordinary believable; and his graphic word-pictures - some fraught with horror, others piercing us with brief visions of exquisite beauty - evoke images so clear and deep that they touch every one of our senses and emotions. ...read more.

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