- Slides: 12
Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Lyrical Ballads Published in 1798 with William Wordsworth The Rime of the Ancient Mariner opens the Lyrical Ballads
Ancient Mariner “long gray beard and glittering eye” It is this eye that holds the attention of the Wedding Guest. (suggests supernatural)
Symbols The albatross symbolizes nature. The Mariner kills the albatross for no apparent reason. Most species of albatrosses wander the southern seas, drinking sea water and feeding on squid, cuttlefish, and other small sea creatures. Sometimes, they follow ships to feed on their scraps. An old superstition says killing an albatross brings bad luck, although sailors have been known to kill and eat them.
Ancient Mariner Major Character Change Initially, the mariner does not appreciate nature. He is not in harmony with nature. The mariner needlessly kills the albatross. He must then wear the dead bird around his neck. Once he begins to appreciate nature, the curse is broken and he is able to pray again.
Ancient Mariner The Mariner is still serving a penance for killing the albatross when he meets the Wedding Guest. Something burns/hurts within the Mariner. He must retell his story to certain people. Only retelling the story alleviates the pain.
Ancient Mariner To serve his penance, the Mariner: Travels from land to land He has strange powers of speech He has the ability to speak multiple languages Recognizes who must hear his story
Wedding Guest The guest is approached by the Mariner and cannot escape his eye. He is fearful of the Mariner, and believes that the Mariner is a ghost. Can you guess why the Wedding Guest is chosen to hear the Mariner’s tale?
Themes Crime & Punishment Penance & Forgiveness Divine Intervention Creating a Harmony Between Humanity & Nature
Structure & Rhyme Coleridge divides the poem into seven parts. Most of the stanzas in the poem have four lines; several have five or six lines. In the four-line stanzas, the second and fourth lines usually rhyme. The sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea.
Meter What is iambic pentameter? Iambic means foot. Pentameter means five measures.
Meter In the stanzas that have four lines, the meter alternates between iambic tetrameter (four feet per line) and iambic trimeter (three feet per line). The SUN | now ROSE| up. ON| the RIGHT: Out OF | the SEA| came HE, Still HID | in MIST, | and ON | the LEFT Went DOWN | in TO | the SEA.