, Research Paper
In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Coleridge tells an exciting tale of a man s sin against nature and his repentance and reconciliation. Coleridge describes the nature of each phase of the Mariner s sin through out the tale. The tale goes through many different atmospheres as it tells about the Mariner s crime and punishment.
At first everything seemed to be very normal and pleasant. The ship was cheered on as it took off from the harbor and out to sea they went. The ship sailed on southward till it reached the line. The ship sailed with good wind and fair weather. Everything seemed perfect as the sun came up from the left. The story suddenly changes as a storm drives the ship towards the South Pole.
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
They ended up in a land of ice, where no living thing was seen. There was ice everywhere surrounding the ship. It looked as if there was little chance for survival. Then, out of know where a great seabird, called the Albatross, appeared through the fog, and brought the seamen hope.
At length did cross and Albatross
Through the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul
We hailed it in God s name.
The Albatross was proven to be of good omen and followed the ship as it returned northward through the fog and ice. Then, out of he blue, the Mariner shoots down the Albatross with his crossbow. The shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good omen.
The fair breeze continued till it reached the line then it suddenly becalmed.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
The atmosphere has changed as Coleridge tells about the sun be bloody and the Albatross began to avenge. The seamen hang the dead Albatross around the Mariners neck and blame everything on him.
Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Because of the drought many seamen died from dehydration. As the seamen lay dieing they curse at the ancient Mariner.
One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.
The souls departed from the bodies of the seaman and Life-in-Death began her work on the ancient Mariner. The Mariner did not pray for help, but prayed for God to take him also.
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
After seven days and seven nights of torture, the Mariner watches the water-snakes and recognizes their true beauty and happiness. The Mariner blesses them in his heart and the spell began to break.
The bodies of the ship s crew come back to life and the ship moves on by angelic spirits sent by a guardian saint. The Mariner is knocked unconscious by a sudden move on the board the boat. While he is unconscious two spirits decide that the Mariner had penance long and heavy.
The Mariner awakes and he is sailing in gentle weather. The dead men all stand together an glare at him once more with their stony eyes.
All stood together on deck
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
The Mariner realizes that the curse was still there. A breeze picked up and carried the ship to the ancient Mariners native country. The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies and become a guiding light. The ship suddenly sank, but the ancient Mariner is saved by the Pilot s boat.
The Mariner travels form land to land to teach his tale. The Mariner s heart burns within till his tale is told. The Mariner taught by his own example love and reverent to all things God made.