Free College Essays - Nature in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Free College Essays - Nature in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Nature


"Look out Below!" - Craaack!  About 15 Men and women turn their glances

toward the sky, and see a large, perhaps 100 feet, tree falling to the

ground.  As the tree hits the solid earth, everything grows very quiet. All

look at the lumberjack, who killed this tree, and find him weeping in

sorrow. This situation is not uncommon when dealing with Nature.  Nature,

as simple as it seems to some, generates great power.  This power is sent

to us, as nature forgives only after a physical, emotional, and spiritual

suffering. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" helps implement all these

teachings together.  In current times, this power continues to teach us of



    With physical suffering, the power of nature shows us forgiveness many

ways.  In the story, the mariner betrays nature: "I shot the Albatross!"

This action against nature is rather extreme, for he takes lightly to this

thought of death.  The Albatross, as a representative of nature, means

nothing to the Mariner.  These thoughts are quickly changed, though, as

Nature begins to start the penance leading towards forgiveness - "Water,

water, everywhere nor any drop to drink."  When "the mariner begins to find

his salvation when he begins to look on the 'slimy things' as creatures of

strange beauty" (Fraser 203),  he understands the Albatross was a symbol of

nature and he realized what he had done wrong.  The mariner is forgiven

after sufficient penance - "We could not speak" - is performed by Nature.

Nature shows us more strength as we realize that people of today often can

not forgive someone who has shot or killed another person.


    At a spiritual level, Nature's power can decide if we will live, or be

condemned.  Nature is capable of presenting "innermost suffering" (Coburn

33) upon people. The mariner's suffering included having his "soul in

agony" soon afterwards. After attempts at prayer and realization of what he

has done - "I looked to heaven and tried to pray", his penance to

forgiveness begins spiritually. The mariner releases the weight of the

crime greatly at the "moment he could pray".

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"The albatross around the

mariner's neck was an emblem of an inner state" (Fraser 204), as it "fell

off and sank", the mariner was forgiven. Guilt follows many of us

throughout our lives today as we do brash things and taunt with Nature.

Yet with these brash things we do, Nature continues to forgive us.


    At an emotional level, our emotions are important factors for pennance

from Nature.  The mariner took for granted the love Nature had for him. All

around his ship, he witnessed "slimy things did crawl with legs upon the

slimy sea" and he questioned "the curse in the Dead man's eyes". This shows

his contempt for the creatures that Nature provides for all of us.  The

mariner begins to find his salvation when he "begins to look on the 'slimy

things' as creatures of strange beauty" (Coburn 34).  The mariner's

experience represents a "renewal of the impulse of love towards other

living things." (Fraser 206).  Even Today, many people look upon Nature in

a similar way as that of the Mariner, not loving it.  But Nature always

forgives those people.


    Nature is a powerful element.  Using it's physical, spiritual and

emotional leveled powers, it can help teach us to focus on life and love.

Today, nature is present all around us as living animals.  These animals,

when taken care of properly, return the care as love and help each of us to

live long lives because of it.  Love is an important aspect in human life,

without it we can die lonely.  With love, we die with all that is around




                Bibliography Fraser, G.S. A Short


History of English Poetry. Barnes & Noble Books. Totowa, New Jersey.


Coburn, Kathleen. Coleridge. Prentice-Hall Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New


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