Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by S.T. Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, critic, and philosopher. He is considered to be the Originator of the Romantic Period along with his friend William Wordsworth. Lyrical Ballads published in 1798 by Coleridge and Wordsworth marked the beginning of the Romantic period. Biographia Literaria (1817) most significant work in English Literary Criticism published by Coleridge. He is known for his Mysterious poems and his theory of Fancy and Imagination is significant in Literary Criticism. He used mystical elements in his poetry, he also presented Gothic and Psychological elements. In Kubla Khan(1797), Christabel (1797), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) he used Psychological elements.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was first published in Lyrical Ballads. It is a long narrative poem that tells a story. Ancient mariner is old because he had several voyages and horrific experiences which have made him look older.

On a voyage, the wind blew them in an unexpected place in an Antarctic region. A large bird albatross followed the ship the mariner shoots the bird for no valid reason this is the turning point of the poem. The death of the bird brought all sorts of unexpected bad luck to the ship. They slowly begin to die of thirst. Strangely the mariner starts to see the beauty in the sea itself. At this point poem changes and the luck of the mariner also changes, good spirits come and the ship is escorted back home. But the mariner is doomed to roam the earth and tell the story to everybody.

This poem is seen as an Ecological poem, it deals with the effect of the destruction of nature. Mariner killed the albatross for no real reason and this is Coleridge’s larger argument this is how we exploit nature. There is no necessity to destroy nature in this way. As a result of shooting the albatross, the ship is marooned, the sailors die, they ran of water and thirst. The most famously anthologized line from this poem is

                    "Water, water, every where,
                     And all the boards did shrink;
                     Water, water, every where,
                     Nor any drop to drink." 

The poem offers a vision of nature as taking revenge for the human destruction of nature. The poem is mystic in the sense that Coleridge sees nature as somebody who has been made angry, reacts like any other human being. Thus, Coleridge suggests, we tend to see nature as something we have to only use, to exploit we never understand or appreciate the beauties of nature. As in the poem, the situation changes when the perception of the mariner changes. Therefore luck of the mariner changes when he appreciates the intrinsic quality of nature. We can see the change in these two lines:

                     From the rotting sea
                     Viewed the ocean green! 

Rime of the Ancient Mariner gives us a message for all time. We are seeing the ruthlessness of nature in the form of many natural disasters. We need to learn the lesson from Coleridge’s poem. We should appreciate nature and its intrinsic beauty.

Written By: Mohit Vyas

Editor And Team Lead: Ashutosh Sharma

About The Author(s)

Chemistry major with self-proclaimed good taste in Books and Music.

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