Essay on Christianity in rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Christianity in rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, penned by Samuel Coleridge, and published for the first time in 1798 in the co-authored “Lyrical
Ballads” with William Wordsworth, is a poem in which an old sailor recounts his tales to a young wedding guest. The tale of the old seafarer was so unbelievable and supernatural, that the wedding guest and all others who hear the tale are captivated and, as Coleridge suggests, listen “like a three years’ child” (15). Embedded through the Mariner’s tale is a story that resembles the Christianesque path from sin to salvation. Throughout his poem, Coleridge uses the
Albatross as a Christ-like figure to illustrate the stages of the
Mariner’s sin, repentance,
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Then, as the Mariner continues, “The Albatross did follow” (72), just as Christ did not save and leave, but he is omnipresent, just as the Albatross.

After the salvation of the sailors, with the Albatross in tow, the
Mariner feels jealousy and hatred and murders the Albatross, killing the very thing which gave him and his ship mates’ life. Lines 81-82 explain the act: “With my crossbow/I shot the Albatross” (81-82).
The use of the crossbow as the weapon of choice is a clear symbol of the cross which Christ died on.

The Mariner soon realizes his treacherous act and begins to feel repentance for it as seen in lines 91-92: “And I had done a hellish thing/And it would work ‘em woe” (91-92). This is a continuation of the cycle of Christian sin – death and repentance. As a sacrament for his sin, the Mariner is feels compelled to wear the Albatross around his neck. This is reminiscent of the common cross that many
Christians around their neck to always remind them of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for them on the cross.

All sins have consequences, and the Mariner soon realized the consequences of his transgression. The lives of his shipmates, his dear friends, were lost, and he must float, alone and windless until he learns the value of all living creatures from the birds above, to the animal that roam the plains, to the fish and even the sea snakes that reside below.

The marine
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