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What are the central themes in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

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Introduction

What are the central themes in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"? On a superficial level, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" can be read as an epic journey of horror in which a mariner is met by supernatural forces after he killed an albatross. But, the poem is much more than that. The supernatural parts of the poem are connected with nature and Christianity. The overall theme of the story is that everything in the natural world has an immense amount of beauty and us human beings must recognize and respect these qualities. The plot of the poem starts from the one single impulsive act of the ancient mariner and then leads onto the consequences of it as the poem matures and ends. ...read more.

Middle

"Water, water, everywhere,/ and all the boards did shrink,/ water, water, everywhere/ and not a drop to drink." It is in this setting that the mariner suffers his punishments. There are several themes in the poem, and several secondary themes relating to the supernatural and Christianity, but the most important would have to be the consequences of a single unthinking act. The mariner kills the pious bird, he does this impulsive act casually and without cause. But as you read on the poem, it is found that you cannot destroy something without creating something new. The seeds of destruction and the seeds of creation are linked and so, the loss of the mariner's crew, his former self and ship, ultimately leads to the regeneration of the new mariner. ...read more.

Conclusion

At this point of the poem, strong Christian themes are also present. It is here that connections are made between suffering, repentance, redemption and penance. These elements combine to add a religious overtone and this symbolism last throughout the poem. Coleridge is portraying the ancient mariner as human beings in general and the albatross as all of god's creatures inhabiting nature. The poem shows the mariner developing into a compassionate human being that appreciates his surroundings and do not take it for granted. The moral of the poem is shown in the last words of the mariner: "He prayeth best, who loveth best/ All things great and small/ For the dear god who loveth us/ He made and loveth all." The poem shows that human relationship with nature should not be destructive, but rather we should all live in harmony. Written By Victor Li ...read more.

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