The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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The Ancient Mariner Character Analysis

The protagonist (and in many ways the antagonist) of the poem. The poem is largely the story of how, while sailing in Antarctic waters, the Mariner killed the albatross, and then how both nature and the supernatural rose up against him and his shipmates, until the Mariner comes to recognize that all of God’s creatures are beautiful and must be treated with reverence. Put another way, the poem focuses first around the Mariner’s sin, and then his penance for that sin. And yet the Mariner’s story is also not quite as simple as all that. First, the poem never explains why the Mariner kills the albatross – does he kill it out of a hatred of nature, or out of a desire to master and control nature, or for some other reason entirely? Second, despite the Mariner’s penance and realization, the absolution he receives is only partial: he regains the ability to pray, but at the same time he finds himself compelled to tell his story to others, such as the Wedding Guest. He is doomed to forever spread his story and instruct potential sinners in the best way to live, which is in harmony with and reverent awe of nature and God’s creations. The Mariner becomes a kind of herald of the natural and spiritual worlds that his killing of the albatross outraged, and with his strange and intense demeanor, his “glittering eye,” his ability to recognize from their faces which men must hear his story, and his overwhelmingly compelling storytelling itself, he also takes on aspects of the supernatural or spiritual world that he experienced.

The Ancient Mariner Quotes in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The The Rime of the Ancient Mariner quotes below are all either spoken by The Ancient Mariner or refer to The Ancient Mariner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin edition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner published in 0.
Part I Quotes

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship,' quoth he.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), The Wedding Guest
Page Number: 8-9
Explanation and Analysis:

The Ancient Mariner has stopped one of three young men on the way to a wedding. When the Wedding Guest asks him why he is being stopped, the Mariner places his hand on the Guest and simply begins telling his story: “There was a ship.” This powerful start to the story demonstrates the power that storytelling has to enthrall and compel listeners. Readers may become invested in the Mariner’s tale even before the Wedding Guest accepts that he must hear it. The power of storytelling itself holds the Wedding Guest just as much as the Mariner’s old, skinny hand and “glittering eye” do.

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At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors
Related Symbols: The Albatross
Page Number: 61-70
Explanation and Analysis:

The Mariner’s ship has faced a massive storm and sailed southward to the South Pole to escape. There it floats in mist, fog, and snow amidst ice and glaciers in pristine silence (besides cracking ice) and an absence of life. But the Albatross, which cuts through the surreal lifelessness of the South Pole, is then introduced as a kind of miraculous figure. The bird appears as both a natural and supernatural object, as it materializes through the fog. As soon as it is introduced, it is also associated with God and Christianity, with the Sailors hailing it excitedly as if it were a fellow Christian.

The crew treats the bird as a good omen, giving it the status of supernatural. But by feeding it, they acknowledge its status as a mortal, natural being. Their celebration of the bird, then, is an approximation of the Romantic ideal, even if it is not understood as a spiritual experience. The Sailors appreciate the bird, and the natural world seems to reward them for their recognition, as the ice splits and allows the ship to continue its journey.

We can also note that the Albatross seems to take joy in following and playing with the ship, and benefits from their kindness. The Mariner to suggest that never before has the bird been so plentifully fed: “It ate the food it ne’er had eat.” This mutually beneficial relationship and the apparent benefit to the Albatross makes its death all the more tragic and sinful.

'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus! –
Why look'st thou so?'-
With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross.

Related Characters: The Wedding Guest (speaker), The Ancient Mariner
Related Symbols: The Albatross
Page Number: 79-83
Explanation and Analysis:

The Mariner has just introduced the Albatross, which flies around and follows the ship. But suddenly, the Wedding Guest interrupts the story (a masterful storytelling technique on the part of Coleridge) since the Mariner’s face apparently contains some sort of agony. Coleridge here gives us the Wedding Guest’s reaction to the Mariner’s face in order to covey how plagued he is by what information will follow, adding to the building sense of tension and anticipation.

The Mariner then continues in his tale and reveals the sin that will set in motion a series of horrifying experiences as part of his penance: he shot the Albatross with a cross-bow. We can note that the Mariner offers no explanation for why he shot the bird. We can attempt to understand it through various frameworks, however. In one framework, the slaughter can be seen as an effort to assert human mastery over nature. Related is the notion that killing the bird is an attempt to assert the mundane and civilized over what is naturally sublime, a rejection of the Romantic ideal and a denial of what is majestic in nature. And in a third framework, the act of killing the Albatross is seen as an interpretive act, whereby the Mariner gives in to the natural desire of humans to interpret; he cannot reconcile with the Albatross’s ethereal existence across boundaries (natural, supernatural, sublime, mortal, an omen) and so he kills it to force the bird into one category (dead). But ultimately, readers are not given an indication of the Mariner’s motive. Rather, we only see the dire consequences of the act.

Part II Quotes

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

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

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), The Lonesome Spirit from the South Pole
Page Number: 115-122
Explanation and Analysis:

After the Mariner kills the Albatross, for a time the wind remains good and the fog dissipates. The crew briefly shifts from cursing the Mariner to justifying his actions. But soon, under influence of the Lonesome Spirit from the South Pole, the breeze dies down and the ship becomes stranded. The Sailors then suffer in the heat, beginning the first stage of the Mariner’s penance. Day after day, the ship remains stuck and still, as if it is merely a ship in a painting.

In this state, the Mariner and the Sailors begin dying of thirst. The second quatrain (four-line stanza) excerpted here plays with the irony of the situation, and also contains one of Coleridge’s most famous (and often misquoted) lines. They are surrounded by water, but since it is seawater, they cannot drink it. This predicament is part of the Mariner’s penance, which is influenced by the supernatural spirits, but it also exhibits some of the sublime terror and beauty of the natural world. The sea is at once compared to a painting and a means of torture and death. Thus while the Mariner doesn’t yet take the correct approach, the poet describes the scene from firmly within the Romantic mindset.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors
Related Symbols: The Albatross, Eyes
Page Number: 139-143
Explanation and Analysis:

Though they first justified the Mariner’s decision to kill the Albatross when the fog lifted and the breeze continued, in face of perilous thirst and torturous stillness, the Sailors have turned back against the Mariner. They seek to place the entirety of the blame on the Mariner (whose actions may indeed be the cause of their own downfall), and even want to curse the Mariner, but their thirst is so severe that none of them are able to speak. Thus, as it is explained in the excerpt, they use “evil looks” as the means for communication. The eyes, we see, serve to communicate when words fail or are prevented.

After cursing the Mariner with their eyes, the Sailors hang the Albatross around his neck—a burden for him to bear in place of a cross. In this way, they attempt to put the responsibility of the sin entirely on him, and mark him as a sinner. Such a gesture is one of the aspects of the poem that clearly calls for an interpretation along the lines of Christian allegory. The Albatross as a symbol of Christ is also strengthened by the gesture, as the dead bird on the Mariner replaces Jesus on the Crucifix.

Part III Quotes

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors, Death , Life-in-Death
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number: 157-161
Explanation and Analysis:

These lines give some of the most powerful, chilling poetry of the entire work. After the Sailors hang the Albatross around the Mariner’s neck, the ship remains stuck and the crew remains so thirsty that they cannot speak. Under a blood-red sun, the Mariner notices a tiny speck approaching on the horizon. This speck provides a moment of hope for the Mariner and drama in the story, as it is revealed to be a ship, and then a phantom ship carrying Death and Life-in-Death.

Seeing the ship, the Mariner is struck with the common desire to share what he sees—to communicate. But nature (and the supernatural forces surrounding it) has taken his ability to use language. In order to win back the ability to speak, the Mariner must pay an painful price: he bites his arm and drinks his own blood, wetting his mouth enough that he can speak. The consumption of blood seems at first horrifying, but it can also be made to fit within the Christian tradition, as Christians consume the blood of Christ (whether literally or metaphorically, depending on the tradition) through the form of wine when taking the Eucharistic sacrament.

Note that the poetry of these lines underscores the uncanny nature of the incident. The stanza contains five lines, as opposed to the common four or six, and is filled with formal features. We can note, for example, alliteration in “black / baked” and “drought/ dumb” as well as the internal rhyme of “unslaked” and “baked,” which somehow makes the five line stanza flow beautifully. The beauty and poetic craft that Coleridge injects here makes this moment and its description an example of the sublime in and of itself.

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.

Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors, Death , Life-in-Death
Related Symbols: Eyes, The Sun and Moon
Page Number: 212-219
Explanation and Analysis:

The ghostly ship, carrying Death and Life-in-Death, has pulled alongside the Mariner and the crew. The two haunting figures have gambled for the lives of the Sailors and the Mariner; Life-in-Death wins the Mariner, implying that the Sailors are won by Death. The Mariner then must face dire penance through a horrifying experience of life within death. As part of this punishment (and perhaps a punishment for them), the two hundred Sailors one by one curse the Mariner with their eyes, before dying in the moonlight.

The lifeless thumping of the Sailors’ bodies can be seen as a reminder of the danger and power of nature and supernatural beings. We can note that as they die, unable to speak, they are still able to communicate their curses and hatred through their eyes, the primal means of wordless communication that is used throughout the poem. These eyes, we will see below, are able to convey curses even after death.

Part IV Quotes

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors, Life-in-Death
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number: 257-262
Explanation and Analysis:

The Sailors have died one by one, and the Mariner here experiences penance through the forms of solitude and horror. To emphasize the terror of being surrounded by these wide-eyed corpses, the Mariner evokes an “orphan’s curse,” which would supposedly have the terrible effect of dragging even a spirit from on high down to hell. “More horrible than that, “ he suggests, is the curse found in a dead man’s eye. We can note that the communicative power of the eye does not cease even in death, existing as an echo of life within death.

This echo is fitting, given the punishment (penance) that Life-in-Death enacts. Surrounded by corpses and death, the Mariner ironically cannot die himself, even over the course of a week. This lingering amidst death brings the Mariner’s isolation and desperation well beyond the experience of being stuck at sea surrounded by a speechless, but still living crew.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware,

The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Albatross, Eyes, The Sun and Moon
Page Number: 282-291
Explanation and Analysis:

After the Mariner is cursed by the dead eyes of the Sailors (for an entire week), the moon rises higher in the sky. In the moonlight, the Mariner observes radiant water snakes swimming beside the ship. At their sight, he comes to the central spiritual realization of the poem. He exclaims with joy that these are happy creatures, beautiful beyond words, and he becomes possessed with love for them and a desire to bless them. He has come to appreciate nature in a Romantic and spiritual mindset, the key lesson he ultimately hopes to impart (as opposed to his earlier hatred of the “slimy creatures” living in the water around the ship).

Once he makes this realization (which is enabled both by the moonlight and the communicative power of his eyes), the Mariner is able to pray once more. The lapse in communication with God has been repaired by, finally, a proper approach to nature and the sublime: respect, reverence, and appreciation. With this attitude the Mariner turns back to prayer, and the Albatross slips off his neck, signifying that (for the moment) he has been absolved of his sin.

Part V Quotes

'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.

Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.'

Related Characters: First Voice and Second Voice (speaker), The Ancient Mariner, The Lonesome Spirit from the South Pole
Related Symbols: The Albatross
Page Number: 398-409
Explanation and Analysis:

After the Mariner’s momentary absolution and spiritual realization, he is also able to fall into sleep, and finally can drink water. But after nature rages and angels possess and reanimate the Sailors’ bodies, the Mariner is thrown into a fit. Within this strange dreamspace, the Mariner hears the First Voice and the Second voice conferring about who he is (“is it he?”) and what he has done (“With his cruel bow he laid full low / the harmless Albatross”). The excerpt here demonstrates how overt Coleridge’s storytelling is at certain moments. One of the voices says explicitly that the Mariner has done penance, and will do more penance in the future. This line proves to be true in the immediate future, and for the rest of the Mariner’s existence, as the poem ultimately implies that his penance is never ending and he is never completely absolved.

Part VI Quotes

This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart –
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Sailors, The Lonesome Spirit from the South Pole
Related Symbols: Eyes, The Sun and Moon
Page Number: 492-499
Explanation and Analysis:

After a race homeward, powered by the Lonesome Spirit (who is in turn instructed by angels) the sun rises and the angels leave the Sailors’ bodies. Rather than singing, as they have done before, the seraphs simply wave at the Mariner, putting on a heavenly display to be experienced through the eyes. This display is essentially silent, which, the Mariner suggests, carries its own type of divine music. Furthermore, the lines themselves are musical, as each stanza begins with the same first line and contains strong rhymes and perfected rhythm and meter. Here, the Mariner is so connected with nature and the sublime that he is able to have a direct spiritual experience, without the presence of the lenses that he requires in many other moments.

It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), Hermit
Related Symbols: The Albatross
Page Number: 508-513
Explanation and Analysis:

As the Pilot, the Pilot’s Boy, and the Hermit approach the Mariner, the Mariner’s ship is sinking. But rather than worrying about the fate of his ship, the Mariner focuses on the Hermit, who presents an example of a good man of God who does not require such trials as the Mariner to maintain the appropriate attitude. Note that the Hermit is connected with nature through the reference to the “wood,” presumably the place he lives.

The Mariner views the Hermit as a means to conclude his journey and bring a final form of penance and absolution, whatever it may be. He hopes the Hermit will “shrieve” him, which is archaic for shrive, which means take confession, apply penance, and absolve. We can note that he hopes the Hermit will wash away the Albatross’s symbolic blood and lift away the guilt of the crime. This suggestion is also complicated by the fact that the Albatross is a symbol for Christ, and Christ’s blood is typically the means of redemption and washing away sin in Christian allegory and doctrine.

Part VII Quotes

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), The Wedding Guest, Hermit
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number: 586-560
Explanation and Analysis:

The Mariner has been rescued by the Hermit and Pilot and is now safely on land. There he begs the Hermit to absolve him of his sin, and is first prompted to tell his story. Here, the Mariner explains the perpetual state of penance he now occupies: he wanders eternally, intermittently succumbing to the agony within him that forces him to tell his story.

He travels from land to land and employs his “strange power of speech,” which seems to be granted to him by the journey and for the purpose of sharing his lesson. He also demonstrates another way that eyes communicate here: he knows to whom he must tell his story by seeing faces. We can note that storytelling here is figured explicitly as teaching. This power of speech allows the Mariner to hold audiences captive, and, we will see, to impart change in their lives.

He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner (speaker), The Wedding Guest
Related Symbols: The Albatross
Page Number: 612-617
Explanation and Analysis:

These lines conclude the Mariner’s tale; they contain the explicit lesson that he hopes to impart to the Wedding Guest, and the moral of Coleridge’s story that (despite the poet’s intentions) is difficult to ignore. The Mariner has for the first time acknowledged the wedding ceremony, and the joys therein, but only at the service of saying that devout prayer offers much greater joy.

Here, he explains how to reach the best kind of prayer and spiritual awareness: the best prayers come from those who best love “man and bird and beast.” He continues, employing repetition with slight variation, saying that the best prayers come from those who best love “all things both great and small,” since God loves us, and God made (and loves) everything. Finally, the Mariner seems to understand the correct (Romantic) approach to nature: all of God’s creations on all scales, from birds like the Albatross, to mist, to the vast sun and moon, to the supernatural spirits and beings that interact with and influence the natural world, are deserving of reverence, respect, and pious embrace. Doing so, argues the Mariner, is the best way to connect with and communicate with God.

The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.

Related Characters: The Ancient Mariner, The Wedding Guest
Related Symbols: Eyes
Page Number: 618-625
Explanation and Analysis:

These lines end the poem. The Mariner, despite his age, still has a bright eye, indicative of his ceaseless urge to communicate and tell his story. We can also note that the Wedding Guest turns away from the wedding rather than continuing on to it (as he so fervently wanted to at the start of the poem). This subtle change in his decision and path of the day represents a shift in the journey in his life. The Wedding Guest is “stunned” and is “of a sense forlorn.” Such descriptors give evidence that interacting with the ancient man and hearing his wild story of nature and spirits is itself a sublime experience. The Wedding Guest has not seen nature’s terrors in the way the Mariner has, but he has heard the story and seen those fierce bright eyes. Thus he becomes “a sadder and a wiser man,” and most likely a saved man. The Mariner is not able to ever fully absolve himself, but through the power of his speech, he is given the gift of being able to save other people.

Readers, too, are in a similar state to the Wedding Guest, since almost immediately after the Mariner’s story ends, the poem ends. Having observed the effect words and stories have on the Wedding Guest we then (Coleridge might hope) are more open to the profound effects that poetry can have on us.

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The Ancient Mariner Character Timeline in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The timeline below shows where the character The Ancient Mariner appears in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part I
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
The Ancient Mariner, an old man with a grey beard and a “glittering eye,” stops one out of... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
The Mariner then launches into the story of his experiences at sea, describing how the ship itself... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
After the Wedding Guest quiets down again, the Mariner’s story moves on to the great storm, which pushed the ship towards the South Pole.... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
...suddenly interjects into the story, revealing that while telling this part of his tale the Mariner looks like he is greatly plagued by fiends. The Mariner then shares his tragic mistake... (full context)
Part II
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
The Mariner says that after he shot the Albatross, the ship began sailing northward. While the winds... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
...sea becomes extremely calm. Below a “hot and copper sky” and “the bloody Sun,” the Mariner and the Sailors become stranded in the ocean without water. Ironically, they are surrounded by... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
During this period of dryness, completely stuck and increasingly thirsty, the Mariner cries out to Christ in terror afraid of the slimy creatures crawling on the surface... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
So thirsty that they cannot speak, the Sailors all give the Mariner evil looks, seeking to “throw the whole guilt” on him for what he did. Thus... (full context)
Part III
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
The Mariner and the Sailors spend a long “weary time” stuck in the state of thirst on... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
The Sailors at first take great joy in the Mariner’s announcement that another ship is approaching, since they believe that they are going to be... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Through the ‘ribs’ or ‘grate’ of the skeleton ship, the Mariner perceives its sole passengers: Death himself and Life-in-Death, a woman described with yellow hair, red... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
...rises. In the moonlight, one by one each of the Sailors turns to curse the Mariner with their eyes. Then one by one, all two hundred Sailors drop down dead and... (full context)
Part IV
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
...hearing that all the Sailors died, the Wedding Guest interrupts the story, afraid that the Mariner, too, perished that day and is telling the story as a sort of zombie or... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
As the Mariner returns to his story, this solitude becomes a terrible part of the penance he must... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
After closing his eyes in an attempt to escape his punishment, the Mariner finds that he is still being cursed by the look in the dead men’s eyes.... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Following this weeklong dead-eyed curse, the Mariner comes to his great realization. In the moonlight, while the ship’s shadow remains an “awful... (full context)
Part V
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
...(that is, has learned to appreciate nature) and been opened back up to prayer, the Mariner is then able to fall asleep. In this sleep he dreams of rain, and he... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
But soon after drinking, the Mariner notices the wind begin to rage and nature and supernatural spirits begin to act out.... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
...to sail the ship. The Wedding Guest reacts to this detail in horror, but the Mariner assures him that it was not demons that reanimated the corpses, or the original souls... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
The Mariner then describes how when the night ended and the sun rose, the angels too rose... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Suddenly, the Mariner is thrown into a fit, and in that strange state he hears two voices (the... (full context)
Part VI
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
...the ship. They then fly away, indicating that the ship will slow again once the Mariner awakens from his trance. (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Upon their departure, the Mariner wakes under the moonlit sky beside the dead Sailors. For a moment, his penance and... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
This breeze moves the ship swiftly and sweetly, until the Mariner cries out with joy: he has been brought home to his native land. At this... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
But this silent music is broken by the sound of oars, as the Mariner hears and then sees a small boat carrying a Pilot, a Pilot’s Boy, and a... (full context)
Part VII
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
The Mariner begins the final part of his tale by describing the Hermit, a pious man who... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Suddenly, the Mariner’s ship begins to sink. The water rumbles and whirls and the ship goes down like... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
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Christian Allegory Theme Icon
Once upon land, the Mariner throws himself at the Hermit and begs for forgiveness and absolution. When the confused Hermit... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
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Christian Allegory Theme Icon
At this point, the Mariner refers for the first time to the wedding that has been looming for the entire... (full context)
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Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
His tale finished, the Mariner leaves, and the Wedding Guest turns away from the wedding feast. The poem ends with... (full context)