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

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

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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. In Coleridge's ballad, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," many Christian ideals are represented throughout the treacherous journey of the Mariner, such as sin, forgiveness, and prayer.
The catalyst for the emergence of Christian symbolism occurs when the mariner commits a sin by murdering one of God’s creatures. By killing the albatross, he inevitably brings about a series of trials amongst himself and those aboard the ship. Though the significance of this sin is first unseen by the mariner, supernatural forces quickly condemn his actions as a severe crime against nature. With no real reason, the mariner kills the albatross and soon realizes the magnitude of his actions. Viewed beyond simply a good luck charm, “At length did cross an Albatross, Through the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God’s name” (ll. 63-6). The idea of the Albatross representing Jesus Christ is a direct parallel in the Christian religion. The death of the Albatross is reminiscent of the death of Jesus in that both died as a result of another’s sin and betrayal of God’s word. Similar accounts of betrayal are portrayed ...

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...ous allegory represents Christian ideals such as sin, forgiveness, and prayer. In addition, Coleridge’s use of language and form contribute to the message conveyed in the text. The form fluctuates throughout the text by use of different rhyme schemes, loose meter, and stanzas in length varying four to nine lines. The variety of form could be representative the array of interpretations of this text. Coleridge conveys profound religious meaning by using symbolic language with interpretive representations. Although his use of elevated language possibly narrowed the audience, that could have been his intentions due to the complexities of this philosophical poem. In the end, Coleridge’s depiction of the Mariner’s journey ultimately conveys the Christian ideal, which is to love and appreciate all creatures created by God, whether Albatross or snake.

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