The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as a product of its culturally inscribed author, presents a confused Unitarian world view consistent with that of the Romantic Movement of its time. It attempts to exemplify this view within an unpredictable and often mysterious universe, and by rebuking the hegemonic ideologies held by the text’s cultural antagonists, seeks to grant the awareness of an often unreasonable world populated by its reader’s passionate persona.

Applying a world-context centred reading to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, demands the awareness of the Neo-Classical era’s hegemonic position over the newly flourishing Romantic Movement of late eighteenth century Europe. Inherent in this awareness is the philosophical concern in The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, with the issue of Neo-Classic determinism versus Romantic free will. These two philosophical perspectives, unique to their own era, are locked in contention throughout the poem and therefore struggle for dominance; as determined by the reader of the text. A resistant reading of The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere explores the concept of determinism, which as an ideology is diametrically opposed to Coleridge’s own beliefs in passionate action and free will; beliefs privileged by the author’s subscription to the Romantic Movement during the text’s construction.

Due to its unique time of construction, The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere itself represents a sense of philosophical uncertainty. Its ideologies, as inspired by a pioneer of the Romantic Movement, are inevitably influenced by the author’s own Neo-Classical background. As a culturally inscribed composer of the text, the idealistically passion...


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...ibuting factor to Southey’s inability to decode the poem’s meaning, lay in the style with which he read it, a style bestowed upon him by his cultural background. Such a background rigidly opposed alternate methods of experiencing poetry, such as trying to feel it rather than to understand it. In such a way, The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere represented a paradigm shift in the way poetry was interpreted; a dynamically different form of experience to what was traditionally accepted. Through this shift, and supported by his culture-breaking contemporaries, Coleridge in his writing of The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere was proposing a new means of experiencing and interpreting the universe; a new cultural perspective. The depth of this perspective that is available to the reader is determined by what the reader, as a culturally inscribed individual, brings to the text.

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