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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Essay Example

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‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Introduction ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is one of the most important and famous pieces of literary work of the British Romantic Movement, although it was not very well received during the life of Coleridge…
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge"

Download file to see previous pages This paper intends to discuss how this poem is considered as a poem of sin and redemption though the “physical and soul journey” (Nelson, 2001, p.148) of the mariner. Poem of Sin The poem is generally considered as a poem of sin. The mariner and his sailors got stuck in a thick and foggy ice field while trying to escape the thunderstorm in the Antarctica. They found an albatross that steered them through the thick fog, so that they might find good winds for their ship. But, we see that the mariner killed the albatross for no reason. This was actually the sin that the poem talks about. The reader is left surprised upon this decision of the mariner, regarding why he shot the albatross that had come there for their help. This perplexity is what irritates the reader in the first read, but as the reader follows the poem, he finds it really rich in context and theme. The albatross is shown as a symbol of Nature, or God’s presence. Read: “At length did cross an Albatross, /Thorough the fog it came; /As if it had been a Christian soul, /We hail'd it in God's name” (lines 63-66). When the mariner shot the albatross, God became angry for him for his sin, and denounced upon him much woe and misery. The sailors confronted with slimy things on the oceans, and ghosts and spirits, which finally killed all sailors, and destroyed the mariner’s journey. Buchan (1969) writes in his essay, ‘The Sad Wisdom of the Mariner’: “The shooting is an act, unpremeditated and unmeant, that nevertheless must be accounted for….” (p.97). The curse, that befell the mariner due to his “unnatural act” (Voglino, 1999, p.53), made him lose his ship and his companions; but finally, he met a rescuer, the Hermit, who brought him ashore. Also, we see that when the mariner shot the albatross, the curse struck the sailors, and they got so angry with the mariner that they hung the albatross around his neck. This was a constant reminder for the mariner about his sin, which had brought immense suffering to the whole crew. An albatross around one’s neck has become an idiom since. An albatross refers to a mistake that one has done and cannot undo it, and which is constantly adding to the suffering. For example, a person bought a motor car, spends money on it to recondition it, but the car is not selling. It is only demanding more expenditure, because of going out of order frequently. So, the car is an albatross around his neck. The old mariner also had this albatross around his neck which constantly reminded him of his mistake or, in this case, sin. Whenever he looked at it, he was reminded of what he did that angered the Nature. Sagar (2005, p.15) writes that, “When the Ancient Mariner wantonly kills that Albatross, the other sailors think it as an unpardonable sin. They believe that no human being has the right to decide who is to live and who is to die. So they decide punishment for his sin.” The sin has also been understood in terms of the mariner’s pride, in literature. Pride has been known as man’s earliest sin, which dates back to Adam and Eve. Literature suggests that mariner’s act of shooting the bird of good omen has something to do with human pride. The albatross came with a lot of good luck for the ship. But the mariner decided to shoot it because he thought that he could do well without it, that he was enough to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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