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(A Comparison of Poe’s Raven and Coleridge’s Albatros)

Good Essays
Coleridge and Poe are both known for writing incredible horror stories. There most famous stories are The Raven, Poe, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge. Both stories were the first of their kind and were written around the same time. These poems have many things in common and many other things not in common. The main focus here is the symbolism of the birds in the poem. The poems are in fact based around the birds and their meanings. There are three main points to compare between the symbolism of the birds, they are; the birds both being an omen, the birds giving a feeling of remorse or prosperity, and the birds creating a false hope.

First of all the Raven symbolises a bad omen and the Albatross symbolises a good omen. The mariners on the ship in Rime of the Ancient Mariner, see the Albatross and immediately their spirits are uplifted. “At length did cross an Albatross, thorough the fog it came; as if it had been a Christian soul, we hailed it in God’s name.” (Lines 63-66) These lines show that the mariners praised the Albatross and saw it as a sign or a gift from God. According to Tyler Wright, “Sailors have always been superstitious, they are some of the most superstitious people in the world. The Albatross is one of many animal superstitions that sailors have and it is one of the more serious ones.” In contrast the Raven traditionally symbolises a bad omen. “Ravens are seen as evil birds, or birds of the devil. The Raven in Poe’s The Raven is exactly that, and it gives the poem an ominous feeling.” (Jacob Calvin).

Next, the Albatross gives the sailors a feeling of prosperity, while the Raven gives the old man a feeling of remorse. The Raven’s presence and repeatedly saying “Nevermore” reminds the...

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...to call for her. It is no use and soon he realizes that it was just the Raven making the tapping sound.

The Raven and Rime of the Ancient Mariner are two of the first horror stories ever written. They both involve a bird that has a huge amount of influence on the story. Keith French said, “Birds and other animals are vital parts of poems. One of the most vital birds in any poem is Poe’s Raven, without this bird obviously the events in this poem would have never happened, but it is more than just that. The type of bird, a Raven which symbolises fear or dread, was the perfect fit for the poem.” Each bird does something different in their respective story. Some things they have in common like that they both give a sense of false hope. Other things they do not have in common like how the Albatross is considered a good omen, where the Raven is considered a bad one.
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