Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Ancient Mariner: Introduction
Ancient Mariner: Plot Summary
Ancient Mariner: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Ancient Mariner: Themes
Ancient Mariner: Quotes
Ancient Mariner: Characters
Ancient Mariner: Symbols
Ancient Mariner: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Samuel Coleridge
Historical Context of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Other Books Related to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
- Full Title: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
- When Written: 1797-1798
- Where Written: England
- When Published: First published in 1798, revised and republished in 1817 and 1834
- Literary Period: Romanticism
- Genre: Poetry
- Setting: Wedding Reception, the Sea
- Climax: The Mariner’s spiritual realization that he must value and respect all of God’s creatures and live in harmony with and awe of nature.
- Antagonist: The Mariner himself, Death, Life-In-Death
- Point of View: The poem begins with a third person account of the Wedding Guest being stopped by the Ancient Mariner, then quickly transitions to a first person story told by the Mariner, occasionally interrupted by the Wedding Guest and on one occasion by two spirits called only “First Voice” and “Second Voice.”
Extra Credit for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Opium and Bipolar Disorder. Coleridge experienced anxiety and depression throughout much of his life, and it is theorized that he suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder. He was also often physically ill, and was given treatment with laudanum, which led to a serious opium addiction.
Opus Maximum. Though famous as a poet, Coleridge also wrote extensively in prose. He wrote literary criticism and philosophy, including a massive work called Opus Maximum, which attempted to reconcile reason with faith. He was unable to complete this project during his lifetime and left behind only fragments. These obscure fragments were mostly unknown until they were published in 2002, and there is still no critical consensus on whether Opus Maximum is a success or not, and what exactly Coleridge was trying to do in writing it.