The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Characters

The Ancient Mariner

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… (read full character analysis)

The Wedding Guest

The Wedding Guest is a man on his way to a wedding celebration – he seems to be a relative of the groom, a young man, perhaps in his twenties, who enjoys a good party… (read full character analysis)

Sailors

The Sailors are the nameless crewmembers that accompany the Mariner on his journey. The sailors are a strange case in the poem; they do not commit any sin as terrible as that of the Mariner’s… (read full character analysis)

Life-in-Death

This haunting figure is found, along with Death, on the ghost ship that approaches the Mariner and the Sailors when their own ship is becalmed after the Mariner’s killing of the albatross. Life-in-Death is described… (read full character analysis)

First Voice and Second Voice

These two voices, the First Voice and Second Voice, are introduced at the end of Part Six in the poem, and continue into the beginning of Part Seven. The voices are supernatural spirits that… (read full character analysis)
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Hermit

The Hermit is the third person aboard the small boat that rescues the Mariner. He is depicted as a man of God and of nature – a man who exemplifies the right way to… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
The Lonesome Spirit from the South Pole
This Spirit is one of the supernatural elements present in Coleridge’s depiction of God’s created nature. The Spirit follows the ship from the South Pole, traps it on the calm sea, and later, after the Mariner’s penance, drags it back to human shores.
Death
Death is found aboard the ghostly ship that approaches the Mariner’s ship when it is becalmed after the death of the albatross. Death gambles by throwing dice with Life-in-Death for the souls of the Sailors and the Mariner. Death loses the Mariner, but wins the souls of the Sailors.
Pilot
The pilot of the small ship that appears after the Mariner sees the beauty in the water snakes. When the Mariner’s own ship subsequently sinks, the Pilot helps rescue the Mariner, but is shocked when it turns out that the Mariner is alive.
Pilot’s Boy
The Pilot’s Boy is a young boy who serves under the Pilot. He rows the small boat that rescues the Mariner until he goes crazy upon seeing that the Mariner is somehow alive. The Pilot’s Boy quips that the Mariner must be the devil himself.