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

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

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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. It is showing its presence to the lone man and the despair and regret he feels. Finally, the sailor reaches harbor where “a seraph-man, on every corpse there stood”. This quote explains how upon each dead sailor’s body there was an angel as well. Suddenly the captain, “heard the dash of oars, [he] heard the Pilot’s cheer,” and in an instant a pilot and his son came to rescue the sailor from his despair. The reader can then see a desire for repentance when the mariner asks the captain to forgive him of his sins.
2. The reader can infer the poem is based in the 16th century because of the word choice the author uses including “hath”, “doth”, and “o’er”. That was also a time when people relied on ships to get them around to where they needed to go. It is also implied that the voyage is on a trek through the Bermuda Triangle. The reader can gather this when the author states, “’Twas night, clam night, the moon was high; the dead men stood together.” The Bermuda Triangle is known for losing innocent sailors along the way. It is said that “the curse with which they died, had never passed away.” Although there may not have been much documentation of these strange events during that time period, in the 1700s a US Navy ship Sarat...

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...y, the moon and the ocean are personified, with the moon being a “she” and the ocean a “he”.
6. Throughout the poem the reader can pick up on a few different tones the author uses to get his point across, the first being omniscient. The author describes the moon with a “great bright eye” looking out across the ocean and making sure that she “guides him smooth or grim”. The next tone is wonder, when the second voice asks, “why drives on that ship so fast”. Fear is felt by the mariner when the wind “raised [his] hair” and blew on him alone across the sea. There is an anxious tone when he questions, “Is this the hill? Is this the kirk? Is this mine own countree?” He is wondering if he will be at a place he can recognize especially in his time of grief and loneliness. Finally, there is an eerie tone when the wind is blowing on only him alone out of the whole sea.

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