THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER

Metaphor, Imagery & Links to Other Texts

Metaphor, Imagery & Links to Other Texts

The sun-The sun usually represents life and happiness; however, in this poem the sun brings drought and desperation to the crew. It is also seen shining through the skeleton of Death’s ship illuminating the horror on board.

The Albatross– At first it seems to be a symbol of good fortune, leading the ship out of the mists and tricky waters. Then its death brings good weather and it seems that it was actually an ill omen. This changes quickly and the death of the albatross comes to signify a disregard for nature and its immense power. Shooting the albatross curses the ancient mariner. It can be seen as a religious symbol as the mariner compares it to the cross Christ carried on his way to the crucifixion. This comparison can be seen to show that the poem is a Christian allegory or it could show that Coleridge is looking at the power of nature instead of a Christian god.

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Links to Other Texts

Reading the Lyrical Ballads and other poetry by Coleridge is a good place to start. This will help you understand why the poem is Romantic and how it fits in with Wordsworth’s poetic ideas. It will also show you how different the poem is from some of the others in the collection as it is supernatural as well as natural, making it gothic as well as Romantic.

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A Top Tip!

Make a copy of this section and put in a place that you often look at. i.e. front of a journal, next to a mirror, on a kitchen cupboard door, etc.