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

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

Length: 1434 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. The Mariner’s punishment was to live a “life-in-death” by repenting and telling his story. His shipmates were punished by death for their crime of praising the death of the Albatross. The Albatross is also supposed to represent Jesus and Jesus’s crucifixion when hung around the Mariner’s neck. While there is no denying the religious symbolism I argue that the moral: to love all things great and small is not Coleridge’s the true message. Coleridge was known to have suffered from various mental disorders such as depression. His own depression is reflected in his writing, specifically, in his character the ancient mariner. Coleridge is also a storyteller like the Mariner. They both tell their own stories and we must separate Coleridge’s story from the Mariner’s.
Though, first, we must make try to make sense of the explicitly stated moral:
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all. (lines 614-617)
What the Mariner learns from his whole ordeal is that we should love all of God’s creatures. He seeks to spread this message around, but the “crime” does not fit the punishment. The death of an albatross does not...

... middle of paper ...

...est sad. It is due to the Wedding-Guest seeing what guilt can do to a man. We, as readers, are Coleridge’s Wedding-Guest. Coleridge writes a story within a story and makes us believe the Mariner’s story as Coleridge’s own. Though, by separating both stories from each storyteller we see that Coleridge’s story is about forgiving oneself from guilt. The Mariner was unable to do this ever since his youth and, thus suffered for the rest of his life.

Works Cited
Coleridge, Samuel. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The Broadview Anthology of British Literature The Age of Romanticism. Ed. Joseph Black ... [et al.]. 2nd ed. Buffalo: Broadview Press, 2012. 415-424. Print.
White, Harry. "Coleridge's Uncertain Agony." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900.Vol. 49, No. 4, The Nineteenth Century (2009): 807-39. JSTOR. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner By Samuel Taylor Coleridge Essay

- The Depressing Truth: An Analysis of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Occasionally, the wisest people are often the sadest. The harsh realities of the world often take an effect on the experienced individuals, causing a depressed mindset. The world as we know it has many luxuries, but with those commodities also comes sorrow and miseries. One piece of literature that shows this relationship is Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A sailor is cursed for killing an albatross, and primarily lives to tell the tale of the ghost ship....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

Powerful Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner By Samuel Taylor Coleridge Essays

- In “The Rime of the Ancient mariner” the author, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, uses multiple literary elements and techniques to portray the meaning of the work to readers. A recurring central idea in Coleridge’s poem, a change in perspective aids the change of certain circumstances in an individual’s life, becomes known to readers through the use of allusion, conflict and setting. This ensures that readers fully grasp the experiences the mariner goes through on his journey. Biblical allusions emerge throughout the poem that reference the cross, Jesus and Jesus’ disciples....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Albatross]

Powerful Essays
1419 words (4.1 pages)

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

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge's “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” seems like a simple story of a man lost at sea and defeating the odds, but if you hone in on the visual and aural details you see that it’s much more. The whole story revolves around the theme of religious transformation and Coleridge uses these visual and aural symbols to convey and drive home this theme. He starts the story immediately with a lot of detail creating the setting of where the mariner is going and to whom the mariner is going to tell his tale....   [tags: the mariner's manifest motive]

Powerful Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)

The Everlasting Works Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge And The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

- While reading the everlasting works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a well-establish author of the Romantic Period; and Mary Shelley, another well-established author of the Romantic period who was heavily influenced by the works of Coleridge, I began to see constant similarities amongst their themes. I began my work by analyzing the theme of solitude and companionship that take place in the works of Frankenstein, written by Shelley, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written by Coleridge. I continued analyzing the solitude and companionship theme until I noticed the much larger umbrella in which these sub-themes fell under....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Romanticism]

Powerful Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

The Big Lesson from the Poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

- ... Spirits come in and start whispering while the mariner is surrounded by his dead crew members over taken by angels. “We were a ghastly crew,” (part five, line 340) mentions the mariner to the wedding guest. Coleridge takes bits and pieces of mythology and symbolism from Greek and Roman myth and Christian scripture and manufactures a modern ghost-and-zombie story complete with visits from Death and his accomplice, Life-and-Death. He describes the Life-and-Death accomplice as having yellow locks, red lips, and looks that were free....   [tags: supernatural, pride, suffering]

Powerful Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)

Symbols in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Essay examples

- In this essay, I will be examining some of the symbols in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.'; Symbols were very important in this poem. Without the symbols, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'; would be simply a poem about an old mariner who is telling a story about killing a bird to a guest at a wedding. Of course, anyone who reads the poem can see that there is more to it than just a simple telling of a story.      The first symbol in the poem is the wedding that the guest and the Mariner are at....   [tags: Poetry essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1492 words (4.3 pages)

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

- Marlow and the Mariner in Heart of Darkness and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are both morally ambiguous characters with many similarities. Each embarks on a great journey in which their character is tested numerous times. Their trials lead to many profound revelations about humanity, which are explored in ways only possible because of their hazy morality. At the start of their adventures, both Marlow and the Mariner were only sailors looking for adventure and fortune. The motivations for their actions were simple; Marlow was “lost in all the glories of exploration” (pg....   [tags: Character Analysis, Darkness]

Powerful Essays
861 words (2.5 pages)

Struggles at Sea in the Poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor

- 1. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a poem about the struggles a mariner goes through on his voyage on the sea. It is said that, “the dead men stood together,” on his ship’s deck. The curse that has caused his sailors to die is not specified and also not forgotten by the captain. The ship continues to sail as, “there breathed a wind on [the mariner]”. The wind gust only blew on the sailor and the hairs on his neck proceeded to stand up. This implies the curse that took the other sailors’ lives....   [tags: voyage, bermuda triangle, shipmates]

Powerful Essays
749 words (2.1 pages)

The Symbolism of the Birds in Edgar Allan Poe´s The Raven and in Samuel Taylor Coleridge´s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

- Feel that guilty conscious giving your gut a strange feeling. This is the way you are told that you have messed, done something wrong. Back in older times there was a different way that people were told that they messed up. “Real guilt needs our permission to exist. It’s sneaky and brilliant and invisible,” according to Liz Jones. But is guilt really invisible. Not in the poem The Rime of Ancient Mariner. The birds in these two poems symbolize two different things. This gets to be the main plot of both poems....   [tags: Evil, Madness]

Powerful Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner Essay

- “He holds him with his glittering eye – The wedding-guest stood still, And listens like a three-years ' child: The mariner hath his will” (Coleridge pg 937). Between 1797 and 1798 Samuel Coleridge wrote his longest poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He used this poem to show his fierce opposition to slavery and slave ships. In the beginning of the poem, three young men are about to enter a wedding celebration, when one of the men gets stopped by an old sailor with a mesmerizing eye. From then on, the Mariner tells the young man a vivid story of his most tragic sail....   [tags: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Albatross]

Powerful Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)