The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Wedding Guest Character Analysis

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 – when he is chosen by the Mariner to hear his tale. The Wedding Guest attempts to evade the Mariner, to continue on to the wedding and not hear the Mariner’s story. At one point he calls out in a kind of agony because he hears the instruments playing at the party; at other times he calls out in terror at the events the Mariner is relating. But either way, the Wedding Guest cannot help but listen to the story. By the end of the poem, after he has listened to the Mariner’s story, the Wedding Guest has become “a sadder and wiser man,” with the implication that the Mariner’s story has changed him, made him less interested in revelry and more concerned with the spiritual and natural concerns that the Mariner’s story describes.

The Wedding Guest Quotes in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The The Rime of the Ancient Mariner quotes below are all either spoken by The Wedding Guest or refer to The Wedding Guest. 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 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:
Quotes explanation long mobile

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'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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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The Wedding Guest Character Timeline in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The timeline below shows where the character The Wedding Guest 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
...who are on their way to a wedding. The man whom the Mariner stopped, the Wedding Guest , explains that the wedding is about to start, but the Mariner ignores the wedding... (full context)
The Natural and the Spiritual Theme Icon
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
...the path of the sun. When merry sounds are heard from the wedding feast, the Wedding Guest once more tries to escape the Mariner’s tale, but he remains enthralled. (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... (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
But amidst this joyous celebration of the bird, the Wedding Guest suddenly interjects into the story, revealing that while telling this part of his tale the... (full context)
Part IV
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
Storytelling and Interpretation Theme Icon
At hearing that all the Sailors died, the Wedding Guest interrupts the story, afraid that the Mariner, too, perished that day and is telling the... (full context)
Part V
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. Even without wind, the ghastly crew is able to sail the ship. The Wedding Guest reacts to this detail in horror, but the Mariner assures him that it was not... (full context)
Part VII
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
...he is being called to prayer. However, he also uses the outburst to provide the Wedding Guest with his final, most overt lessons. Much sweeter than a wedding feast, says the Mariner,... (full context)
The Mundane and the Sublime Theme Icon
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 the assertion that the Wedding... (full context)