Essay Biblical Symbolism in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," written in 1797, has been widely discussed throughout literary history. Although critics have come up with many different interpretations of this poem, one idea that has remained prevalent throughout these discussions is the apparent religious symbolism present throughout this poem. "The Ancient Mariner" contains natural, gothic, and biblical symbolism; however, the religious and natural symbolism, which coincide with one another, play the most important roles in this poem (Piper 43). It is apocalyptic and natural symbolism that dominates the core of this poem (43).

The biblical symbolism found in this poem mainly reflects the apocalypse, as it deals with the Mariner's
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This section of the poem has tremendous correspondence to the apocalyptic story. The language and form in this part of the poem represent the images and words, which have traditionally described the wrath of God and the guilt of man in Christian terms. Its is at this point in the poem that the Mariner feels guilty for having killed the Albatross and for the deaths of his shipmates. However, it is directly after this description that the Mariner observes the beauty of the water snakes and forms a respect for the presence of God in nature. In this poem Coleridge uses the wrath and guilt of the apocalypse, but adds his own ideas of divine love and conversion, which lead to paradise. Even thought the Mariner must continue with his penance, he is free of God's wrath and is able to appreciate and love all of nature as God's creation.

Throughout this poem there are many examples of biblical symbolism in nature. Coleridge uses different elements of nature, such as the sea, as symbols of religious thought or beliefs. The sea is where the decisive events, the moments of eternal choice, temptation, and redemption occur. While at sea, the Mariner makes the eternal choice to kill the Albatross. This choice is eternal because once the Mariner has committed the act of murder, there is nothing that he can do to change it. s a result of the Mariner's decision, a curse falls over the ship and the Mariner is sentenced to eternal
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