The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

Length: 866 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


According to Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, an allegory is described as a fictional literary narrative or artistic expression that conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but distinct from, and more important than, the literal meaning. This is true in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is an allegory that symbolizes the inherent struggle of humans facing the ideas of sin and redemption. In writing this poem, Coleridge spent four months of sustained writing upon his purpose of supposing that supernatural situations are real. This purpose is seen clearly in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which demonstrates salvation, and the power of sympathetic imagination. The story of the ancient mariner takes place on a sea voyage around the horn of Africa and through the Pacific Ocean to England, which Coleridge uses to symbolize the pass into the spirit world of guilt, retribution, and rebirth.
In discussing the symbolism of guilt in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", it is important to understand that in the eyes of the Romantics God was one with Nature. Because of this belief a sin against Nature was seen as a sin against God. In line 82 of the poem, the Mariner simply says, "I shot the Albatross." In saying this, the reader often questions why the bird was shot. There is no explanation. The Albatross was shot without reason or motive very much like the sin of humans. Here the poem begins to take on its allegorical purpose in which the Albatross symbolizes not only sin, but possibly Jesus as well. In Christianity, Jesus died upon the cross for the sins of humanity. He was punished in order for ...


... middle of paper ...


...ort the reader into a spiritual journey of guilt, retribution, and rebirth as a symbol of the journey of Christianity. Expressing the inherent struggles of humanity for sin and redemption, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" allows the reader to suppose that supernatural situations are real. Coleridge uses supernatural events to bring to live the ideas he expresses in his work. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" clearly demonstrates the ideals of Christianity as salvation and the power of sympathetic imagination.




Bibliography:

Works Cited
"Allegory," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000. Microsoft Corporation 1997-2000. .
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The Norton Anthology: English Literature. 7th ed. 2 vol. Ed. M. H. Abrams and Stephen Greenblatt. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000. 422-38.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbols and Symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

- Symbols in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner A close reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner will reveal that the Ancient Mariner-who is at once himself, Coleridge and all humanity-having sinned, both incurs punishment and seeks redemption; or, in other words, becomes anxiously aware of his relation to the God of Law (as symbolized by the Sun), and in his sub-consciousness earnestly entreats the forgiveness of the God of Love (represented by the Moon-symbol). ... For Professor Lowes, while he has disclosed a Coleridge of amazing intellectual grasp ......   [tags: Rime]

Free Essays
2465 words (7 pages)

Christian Aleegory In The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Essay

- Christian Allegory in "The Rime of an Ancient Mariner" Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of an Ancient Mariner" is a lyrical ballad that seems more like a miniature epic. However, not only it is a ballad talking about the adventure of an old mariner who is cursed for life because he kills an albatross; deeper than that, it is also a religious allegory conveying numerous themes pertaining to Christianity. On the one hand, if one reads "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" simply as a tale at sea, the poem stands remarkable because of its simple rhyme and easy flow....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

Free Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Theme of Christianity in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

- A significant theme in Samuel Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," is Christianity, which is portrayed through the Mariner’s epic journey. This text is set between the physical world and the metaphysical (spiritual world), similar to religious teachings found in the Bible. With the use of vivid descriptions and strong language in this ballad, moral lessons appear that connect both man and God in order to discover an innate bond and understanding. Though this tale is overwhelmingly bizarre and dark, the moral lessons taught are in line with central aspects of both the romantic period and the Christian religion....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1047 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

- The first stanza of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ begins with the line ‘The Sun now rose...’. Coleridge has immediately drawn the reader in with the use of the temporal adverb ‘now’, allowing the stanza to be read in the present tense, thus immersing the reader into the poem. Like the previous part, the sun is again personified in line two when Coleridge writes that ‘Out of the sea came he’. Referring to the sun as ‘he’ poses great significance when examining the background of this play. The weather plays a vital role in the journey of a sailing ship - the sun is used to tell the time, provide light, and usually where there is sun, there is no stormy weather and thus no rocky water for s...   [tags: Albatross, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Sun]

Better Essays
1608 words (4.6 pages)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a poem about a lone sailor who survives a disastrous voyage at sea. Believing himself to be responsible for this tragedy he dooms himself to recount his tale to strangers. The most common interpretation of this poem is the religious view of crime and punishment. Early in the poem the Mariner shoots an albatross a symbol of good luck. Since it is a moral wrong to shoot the albatross, for you are supposed to love “all things both great and small”, the crew eventually was punished....   [tags: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner]

Better Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

- It has been suggested that The Rime of the Ancient Mariner may be read as a religious text, presenting ‘nothing less than the fall of man’. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has been interpreted in a variety of ways since it’s creation in 1797. Some, such as Gavin McGann, argue that ballad is a story of our salvation of Christ, whereas others dispute this, believing it to be a metaphor for Original Sin in the Garden of Eden. Whilst these interpretations may differ, the view that The Rime may be read as a religious text does not....   [tags: Rime Ancient Mariner]

Better Essays
1389 words (4 pages)

Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

- Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner In Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner the reader finds an enduring tale. Although the poem is nearly 200 years old it remains a popular piece by way of the novel juxtapositions and contradictions that are so eloquently described that the reader is both drawn in by the logic of the descriptions as well as fascinated by the complete unreality depicted in the poem. It is highly unlikely anyone could claim an understanding of the events told by the Ancient Mariner—the reader today, as well as in Coleridge’s time is akin to the man in the wedding party, listening to the Mariner’s tale with a mix of horror, astonishment and disbelief....   [tags: Coleridge Rime Ancient Mariner Essays]

Better Essays
1565 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on The Wedding Guest in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

- The Wedding Guest in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner             What does it mean to be wise. Webster's Dictionary defines the word "wise" as being "marked by deep understanding, keen discerment". Through the telling of the ancient Mariner's tale, the Wedding-Guest became sadder and wiser. He became sad in that he identified himself with the shallow and self-absorbed mariner. However, the mariner changed his ways. The Wedding-Guest became wise through realizing that he himself needed to alter his ways....   [tags: Rime Ancient Mariner Essays]

Better Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Respect for Nature in Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

- Respect for Nature in Rime of the Ancient Mariner    "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a parable of a seaman's crime against nature (pointlessly killing an albatross) and his repentance by blessing the lowly water-snakes.  Setting the poem in the Middle Ages in the then-unknown seas near Antarctica, the poet is able to make his narrative credible and give the reader what is called 'the willing suspension of disbelief.'  "   This seven part ballad begins as a tale told by an "ancient Mariner" who has grabbed hold of a Wedding Guest and captivates his will by sharing his wild tale at sea: "The Wedding-Guest stood still, And listens like a three years' child: The Mariner hath his will...   [tags: Rime Ancient Mariner]

Better Essays
699 words (2 pages)

Wrong Actions in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay examples

- Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Wrong Actions The idea of people making wrong actions and having to pay for them afterwards is not new. The Christian religion centers itself around the confession of sins done by men or women. Luckily, they have the power to repent and do penance to receive God’s forgiveness. God sends people this power and people around the world mimic this cycle of crime, punishment, repentance, and reconciliation in court systems and other penal codes. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" helps implement all this cycle with the murder of the albatross and how he must pay for his actions....   [tags: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner]

Free Essays
676 words (1.9 pages)