The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
According to Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, an allegory is described as a fictional literary narrative or artistic expression that conveys a symbolic meaning parallel to but distinct from, and more important than, the literal meaning. This is true in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is an allegory that symbolizes the inherent struggle of humans facing the ideas of sin and redemption. In writing this poem, Coleridge spent four months of sustained writing upon his purpose of supposing that supernatural situations are real. This purpose is seen clearly in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which demonstrates …show more content…
In order for the Mariner to be forgiven of this sin he must first admit his guilt. In lines 91 through 96 he does so by saying, "And I had done a hellish thing, And it would work 'em woe: For all averred, I had killed the bird That made the breeze to blow. Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay, That made the breeze to blow!"
It is this admission of guilt that allows the process of forgiveness for the Mariner to begin. It also allows the Albatross to become a reminder of the Mariner's sin, a representation of Christ's suffering, and a symbol of the Christian cross. In lines 40 and 41 it says, "Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung." The next symbolic theme in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is that of retribution. In lines 143-146 Coleridge illustrates a time of draught for the sailors on the voyage. Without any water to drink they are suffering. This symbolizes the spiritual draught that humans face in Christianity. Without the love for Christ humans are thirsting for spiritual enlightenment and forgiveness--without which they suffer. Also as a symbol for retribution in the poem is the appearance of Life in Death. In Christianity, in order to experience everlasting life in heaven, humans must succumb to death first. Coleridge uses supernatural events to show real life situations in his poem. The real life situation of life in death in Christianity is symbolized as a
The mood in The Rim of the Ancient Mariner is enthralled, and it is strongly influenced by the imagery and diction that Coleridge uses. First, Coleridge uses imagery in Part I when he writes; “‘Hold off! unhand me, graybeard loon!’ / Eftsoons his hands dropped he. / He holds him with his glittering eye - / The Wedding Guest stood still/ And listens like a three years’ child: / The Mariner hath his will” (Coleridge 11-16).
Samuel Taylor Coleridge?s ?Rime of the Ancient Mariner? is a piece known to many in some vague way or another. An elderly sailor, a ghostly ship, and the killing of an albatross are all present in many people?s minds, although they may not entirely know the whole tale. Although well-known today, the most activity ?Rime? has seen was in its beginnings. It has its fair share of praise and criticism, praise given posthumously and criticism given while Coleridge was alive. Other than criticisms on the actual text, many people claim that Coleridge borrowed the ideas of others and used them.
The mariner now knows that his forgiveness now lies in his own hands. He must now rely on his penance. During the middle ages, penance used to consist of a long walk or a
The symbolism in the “Rhyme of the ancient mariner” is said to be an impossible representation of the Christian story of reconciliation from sin, redemption and forgiveness for that sin, but the symbolism in this poem clearly contradicts those views. The poem is one of a great sin committed against nature and the supernatural - being God - and how the wrong doer was redeemed from that sin and his journey into realigning what he had done. The Mariner was punished for his sin by the supernatural and forces of nature while he was glorified by his crew mates for his skill that was shown in killing the albatross with a crossbow. This is often true in Biblical stories and modern day where one is glorified for earthly talents and is given fame, but what they are famous for contradicts God and his law. Other aspects of Christianity are embedded in this poem as well that are easily overlooked like when the Mariner prays to some force he does not know. He is guilty for his transgression and knows what he has done is wrong although the sin was committed with ill will not intended. Lastly this poem displays a value important to Christianity, but also to all other ideologies and the is the topic of justice for crimes committed and the Christian aspect of thats once justice is served salvation is needed and redemption takes place. All of these values presented by symbolism throughout this poem all point toward the idea that the story of the Mariner was meant to serve as an example of the
As stated above, another archetype presented here is Jonah. Under this archetype, the crime and the punishment of the ancient mariner will show different meanings. The connection between Jonah and the mariner not only lies on their common crime as sacrilege, but also on the punishment of enduring physical and mental suffer. And through dissecting Coleridge’s Christian and philosophical thoughts, the theme in this poem will be much clearer.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, it was written in the late 1700s. The poem’s setting starts during a wedding, an old mariner stops one of the wedding guests from going into the party to tell him a story. The mariner’s story takes place in a ship where he killed an albatross and everything started to go wrong for him and his crew. When the mariner’s story is ending he says that he has a pain to tell people about his story, this is why he stopped the wedding guest to tell him his story. The wedding guest decides not to go to the party because he became upset, he is now a “sadder” but “wiser” man. Coleridge uses many literary elements to make the story come together such as similes, personification, symbolism
Throughout the poem, the albatross serves as a symbol for both good fortune and sin. While the albatross was still alive, it represented good luck that caused a breeze to blow the ship from the icy South Pole towards the Equator. However, in its death by the hands of the Mariner, the albatross is a testament of the Mariner’s sin, and by hanging around the Mariner’s neck, it symbolizes a hovering curse.
By killing the albatross, the Mariner sets in motion Christianity’s idea that all except Jesus are sinners, but through repentance one can seek forgiveness and ultimately salvation. However, Coleridge poses a dichotomy regarding the transparency of forgiveness in this ballad. After the Mariner blesses the snakes, the reader presumes the curse was lifted and forgiveness was granted. Although the “Albatross fell off, and sank Like lead into the sea” (288-91), the Mariner was compelled to serve a long-term penance of continually repeating his tale, also serving as a constant reminder of his sin. Where as Christianity teaches that by repenting one achieves forgiveness, Coleridge enacts the idea of retribution in order for the Mariner to ultimately attain God’s forgiveness. For example, one of nature’s punishments taunts the Mariner with extreme thirst, causing him to cry out:
Cleary seen in the quotation above, the curse resulting in the murder of Albatross left the Mariner viewing death as the only possible option to relieve himself of the haunting, tragic images that left his crew dead. Under the moonlit sky as the Mariner’s ship still sails cursed, but then he witnesses something that changes his perception of God and his faith.
It’s easy to tell that the ocean is a mysterious and isolating place from all of the tragic tales we hear from sailors both real and fictional. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and an anonymous author’s “The Seafarer” are quite similar in that they both revolve around said tragic tales told by sailors. However, there seem to be more commonalities between their themes, tones, and messages rather than their seaward-bound settings. But before we can discuss these similar settings and deeper themes, we have to tackle their origins.
Using the senses of seeing, feeling, and hearing in The Rise of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Coleridge demonstrates the use of many sensory details. The appearance of the Ancient Mariner, the Nightmare Life-in
For reasons not specifically mentioned in the text, the mariner kills the albatross, which can be easily related to a couple of infamous Christian sins.
The lines that follow deal with death and punishment. Part 3, describes how the sailors' "throats unslaked, with black lips baked, We could nor laugh nor wail; Through utter drought all dumb we stood! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, A sail! A sail! " Then all the shipmates die "Four times fifty living men, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan) With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropped down one by one." And so the ancient mariner was "Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! A never a saint took pity on My soul in agony." He sat
Four varying viewpoints exist concerning what or who the mariner represents, the first being the superficial idea that he is simply the wise old man who imparts wisdom to the younger generations (Williams 1116). Going beyond the literal connotation, the most common and supported argument it that the mariner represents the Christian sinner. The diction chosen by Coleridge often alludes to Christianity, examples include “Christian soul”, ”God’s name”, “[i]nstead of the cross…about my neck was hung”, and “Dear Lord in Heaven” (Coleridge 1616-1632). Howard Creed believes that the mariner is symbolically a poet, due to the fact that he learns “the great truth about the world they live in” and then attempts to communicate it to others through the art of a story (221). The final possibility is that the mariner represents a mother. Repeated connection to conventionally female things like the sea, motherhood, spontaneity/irrationality, and nature begins to support this conclusion. The role of instructing the young, in this case the wedding guest whom “listens like a three years’ child” is also traditionally female, further developing the argument (Coleridge 1616). Overall, the poem is an exemplar at employing Coleridge’s idea of symbol to use the ordinary to show the transcendent, especially Christianity, yielding that the second option is the preeminent choice.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a poet in the 1800’s. Coleridge poems are a journey through the imagination. Many of his poems slipped from reality into his dreams. One of his famous poems he wrote is The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is about a sailor who gets lost at sea and strange, un-real things start to happen to him. Three themes in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are the idea of respect, the idea of living thoughtless or thoughtful, and all living things are important.