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Essay on The Allegory of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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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
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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
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