The connection of man and nature in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner can be interpreted in many different ways regarding the question of the relationship between the man and the nature. According to Geoffrey H. Hartman "Coleridge's poem traces the 'dim and perilous way' of a soul that has broken with nature and feels the burdenous guilt of selfhood" (48). Robert Penn Warren explains his perception and “the primary theme in this poem as the theme of sacramental vision, or the theme of the 'One Life'” (348). In this essay I would like to concentrate on identifying the relationship and connection of man, as an individual, and the nature. This relation is very regular in the works of the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge, who ofttimes write about strong connection and intense feelings of the poet himself and the nature and also use imaginary in nature. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner the nature can be identified as a character itself, especially when acting as if by the hand of God.
In the first part of the poem, the Mariner starts his journey on the ship and perceives nature just with his senses. He sees it solely as a force, that will help him get to his desired destination.
“And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong :
He struck with o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.” (41-44)
This piece of the poem is full of the images of nature. The image of sun and the moon can be find throughout the whole work, but in this part it probably poses as a symbol of rationality and intellect. Its function differs from the function of the moon and its light shines its rays of light on things to make them clearer, more comprehensible and earthly. T...
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...dds “In Coleridge's sacramental universe a crime against Nature is a crime against God. [Gose] finds in the Fall an analogy for the Mariner's symbolic killing of the albatross” (156). Other critics do not concur with this view and according to them the punishment does not really justify the deed. According to them there is no redemption or restitution, but the punishment only aims to a world of chaos. Warren however argues, that this crucial part of the poem can not be just blatantly read without understanding, but must be seen as a crime made by mankind against the nature. He states:
“We cannot blandly pass by such a crucial event as the shooting of the Albatross with merely a literal reading, the kind of reading which Lowes, among others, gives it - the kind of reading which makes the bird but a bird; the bird has a symbolic role in a symbolic pattern.” (355)