Samuel Coleridge and Edgar Allan Poe Poems Essay

Samuel Coleridge and Edgar Allan Poe Poems Essay

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Symbols can be a very powerful thing. They can completely transform texts and make them more powerful and significant. Symbols are things in a text that represent other things or have different meanings. There are two different poems that contain similar symbols: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is “A poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about an old sailor who is compelled to tell strangers about the supernatural adventures that befell him at sea after he killed an albatross, a friendly sea bird.” (Kett, Joseph F.).The old mariner killed an albatross, a seabird, and was cursed for disrespecting nature and watched his entire crew die of starvation and thirst because their ship was stuck in a motionless part of the sea with no current and no wind to keep them moving. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short poem about an old man mourning the death of his late wife Lenore. He is sitting in the chair that his wife used to sit in and then a raven showed up and perched itself on a statue. The old man would ask the bird something, and the bird would respond “nevermore” every time. Both of these poems use birds as symbols, yet these birds are very different. The birds in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Raven are very distinct by their appearance, actions, and influence in the poems.
Initially, the raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and the albatross from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, have completely different appearances. The raven is a smaller bird than the albatross and is jet black whereas the albatross is a giant white bird with wings that are bigger than its body, “And round and round it flew” (Mariner, pg. 823, line 68)...

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...). The last distinction between the Albatross from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the raven from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven is that they give off different influences. These two birds have many differences but they do have some qualities that they do have in common, they are both symbols to both very famous works.

Works Cited

Brook, Carol "albatross." Gage Canadian Dictionary. 1996. eLibrary. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

Safina, Carl. "ON THE WINGS OF THE ALBATROSS." National Geographic. 01 Dec. 2007: 86. eLibrary. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

Kett, Joseph F. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"." The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. 2002. eLibrary. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

Madison, James T "albatross." Compton's by Britannica, v 6.0. 2009. eLibrary. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

Warne, Kennedy. "THE AMAZING ALBATROSSES." Smithsonian. 01 Sep. 2007: 46. eLibrary. Web. 15 Mar. 2014.

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