Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Rime of the Ancient Mariner Monument

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner begins with a wedding guest who is entranced by the Mariner, who is full of wisdom.  At first, the Albatross is a positive omen then the Mariner confesses his killing of one.  Then he states that he has possessed a destructive nature.  In part four, alone denotes a distance from God; the isolation is a factor of his sins.  he understand his crime against nature and shows remorse.  Line 285, the beauty of the snakes refers to nature’s beauty and how it’s power is redemptive.  In part five, the Mariner has already suffered and been redeemed, but he will repent for his entire life.

By part seven, the Mariner has aged and the pilot is horrified.  The Mariner’s vocation to tell and re-tell the poem of his mission is an agony to him as a poet.  This relates to Coleridge because he felt the same parallel to his own life.  Artistic inspiration is not always a great experience.  It is a supernatural “force” to share the gifts.

The wedding guest experiences sad thoughts when he gained wisdom from the Mariner’s poem.  The poem is more in tune with general human experience than anything else.

The setting in Kubla Khan us representative of Coleridge’s view of the primary and secondary imagination throughout the poem.  Pure imagery and symbolism is more tentative in the conscious form.  Coleridge himself would become the mariner; he wants to reach the full creative ability, but can only do so under the experience of drugs and feels remorse of the loss of that ability.  He’s full of anxiety about his own creative abilities.


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