The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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 as having red lips, yellow hair, and white skin. She throws dice with Death and wins the Mariner’s soul, and given the Mariner’s subsequent inability to pray until he has completed his penance, there is the suggestion that he truly experiences a kind of life-in-death, not in the sense of being a zombie, but in the sense of being cut off from both the natural and spiritual worlds even as he continues to exist, until he completes his penance.

Life-in-Death Quotes in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The The Rime of the Ancient Mariner quotes below are all either spoken by Life-in-Death or refer to Life-in-Death. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner published in 0.
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:

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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:

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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:

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Life-in-Death Character Timeline in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The timeline below shows where the character Life-in-Death appears in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part III
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Sin and Penance Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
...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 lips, and haunting white skin. As their ghostly... (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
After Life-in-Death announces her victory, the sun sets and the moon rises. In the moonlight, one by... (full context)
Part VII
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
...same way that the Mariner and the Sailors first viewed the ship of Death and Life-in-Death. Undeterred, the small boat continues to approach. (full context)