The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is about a man that set sail on a ship who committed a heinous act impulsively, thus altering the direction of his life and ultimately his death. The struggle the Mariner faces is within his own self-consciousness related to the crime he committed and while he must serve penance he must also understand his own actions. The Mariner is also faced with acceptance of all of God’s creatures and abandoning all negative views. The voyage then channels into a learning experience on repentance, forgiveness, accountability, and acceptance.


The Mariner kills an Albatross and then it is hung around his neck. This is so he is able to understand how serious his own actions are, but during this time he is not able to realize the full implications. For this excursion, the bird itself was to serve as a spiritual guide to safeguard the crew and was no danger to the Mariner himself or the men of the ship.


The Mariner appears to commit the murder on a whim without any consideration being given to the repercussions of his actions. The Wedding Guests are not offered any sort of explanation as to why the bird was killed because he does not know himself the reason why. Even though the murder itself was not premeditated and it wasn’t meant to happen, it still must be accounted for. The Mariner has to accept responsibility so that he can atone for the overall sin.


Over time the crew and the ship face difficulties as it comes to a halt out there on the sea. The Mariner becomes angry over his fate instead of finding remorse for his crime. He turns against the sea and curses it along with all the creatures it contains. He will pay a dear price for his inability to cherish God’s creatures. When another ship approaches the Mariner is somewhat dumfounded to come face to face with Life and Death at the same time. By mere chance, Death takes a win grabbing up the lives of the crew, while Life-in-Death wins over the Mariner. The Mariner becomes increasingly frightened and alone as one by one men on the ship start to die. Selfishly, he only grieves for himself at first.


Over seven nights and days he is locked in solitary forced to reflect on the events that unfolded. The dead sailors floating in the water around the ship seem to have blaming eyes fixed directly on him. This gets to him as the days pass and he begins to understand and accept how he is in fact responsible for each of the sailor’s deaths.

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