Essay On The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

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As the saying goes no good deed goes unrewarded. Coleridge, in his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, tells a story that no evil deed shall go unpunished. For every action there is an appropriate consequence equal to or greater than the original action. In the poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge explains this through the crime committed by the ancient Mariner and the consequences forced upon him for his actions as seemed fit by the spiritual world.

The albatross had flown to the side of the Mariner’s ship and guided the ship through the fog. “At lengths did cross an albatross through the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, we hailed it in God’s name.”(64-66). Coleridge tells us that the albatross was a god given gift from the spiritual world. The Ancient Mariner decided to shoot the Albatross with a cross bow “God save thee, Ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus! Why look’st thou so? With my cross bow I shot the Albatross!”(78-82). Because of the Ancient Mariner actions taking the life of a living creature, the right which they believed belonging only to the spiritual world, the spiritual beings punish the Mariner in several different ways.

The first way and probably the most drastic in which the spirits punished the Mariner were through the actions of Mother Nature. As soon as the bird was killed the wind that propelled the ship became still. It wasn’t long before the Mariner realized the consequences of his actions, “for all averred, I had killed the bird that made the breeze to blow.”, then suddenly “down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down, Twas sad as sad could be; and we did speak only to break the silence of the sea!” (35). Since the Albatross was a gift from t...

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...ny. The only way for the Mariner to ease his pain is by telling others his story, which at that point he begins feels alive again.

In conclusion I think overall the punishment is fit for the Ancient Mariner. Having to be forced to live forever drifting aimlessly throughout life, much like his cursed ship at sea without any wind. Perilously searching for anybody to tell his story too, simply for temporary relief of an eternal pain seems deserving of his crime. Death sometimes can actually be a blessing because no longer must one live with their mistakes. If someone was to kill a man he would be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Therefore there should also be punishment for murders of sacred beings as well. Coleridge clearly expresses the same beliefs and expresses this through his character and events presented in his poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

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