Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere) is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 that featured a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature.
A brief introduction……. The Rime of the fascination as the Ancient Mariner Mariners story relates the experiences progresses, as can be of a sailor who has seen in the language style: for returned from a long example, Coleridge sea voyage. The uses narrative Mariner stops a man techniques such as who is on the way to a personification and wedding ceremony and repetition to create begins to narrate a either a sense of story. The Wedding- danger, of the Guests reaction turns supernatural or of
The Mariners tale begins with his ship departing on its journey.Despite initial good fortune, the ship is driven south off courseby a storm and eventually reaches Antarctica. An albatrossappears and leads them out of the Antarctic but, even as thealbatross is praised by the ships crew, the Mariner shoots thebird ("with my cross-bow / I shot the albatross"). The crew isangry with the Mariner, believing the albatross brought thesouth wind that led them out of the Antarctic. However, thesailors change their minds when the weather becomes warmerand the mist disappears ("Taws right, said they, such birds toslay / that bring the fog and mist"). However, they made agrave mistake in supporting this crime as it arouses the wrathof spirits who then pursue the ship "from the land of mist andsnow"; the south wind that had initially led them from the landof ice now sends the ship into uncharted waters, where it isbecalmed.
One by one, all of the crew members die, but the Mariner lives on, seeing for seven days and nights the curse in the eyes of the crews corpses, whose last expressions remain upon their faces. Eventually, the Mariners curse is temporarily lifted when he sees sea creatures swimming in the water. Despite his cursing them as "slimy things" earlier in the poem ("Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs / upon the slimy sea"), he suddenly sees their true beauty and blesses them ("a spring of love gushd from my heart and I blessd them unaware"); suddenly, as he manages to pray, the albatross falls from his neck and his guilt is partially expiated. The bodies of the crew, possessed by good spirits, rise again and steer the ship back home, where it sinks in a whirlpool, leaving only the Mariner behind.The hermit prays, and the Mariner picks up the oars to row. The pilots boy goes crazy and laughs, thinking the Mariner is the devil, and says, "The Devil knows how to row." As penance for shooting the albatross, the Mariner, driven by guilt, is forced to wander the earth, tell his story, and teach a lesson to those he meets: He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all. After relating the story, the Mariner leaves, and the Wedding Guest returns home, and wakes the next morning "a sadder and a wiser man".
And the coming wind did roar more loud,And the sails did sigh like sedge;And the rain poured down from one blackcloud;The Moon was at its edge.The thick black cloud was cleft, and stillThe Moon was at its side:Like waters shot from some high crag,The lightning fell with never a jag,A river steep and wide.The loud wind never reached the ship,Yet now the ship moved on!Beneath the lightning and the MoonThe dead men gave a groan.They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;It had been strange, even in a dream,To have seen those dead men rise.The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;Yet never a breeze up blew;The mariners all gan work the ropes,Were they were wont to do:They raised their limbs like lifeless tools--We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brothers son,Stood by me, knee to knee:The body and I pulled at one rope,But he said nought to me."I fear thee, ancient Mariner!"Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!Twas not those souls that fled in pain,Which to their corses came again,But a troop of spirits blest:For when it dawned--they dropped theirarms,And clustered round the mast;Sweet sounds rose slowly through theirmouths,And from their bodies passed.Around, around, flew each sweetsound,Then darted to the Sun;Slowly the sounds came back again,Now mixed, now one by one.Sometimes a-dropping from the skyI heard the sky-lark sing;
And now twas like all instruments,Now like a lonely flute;And now it is an angels song,That makes the Heavens be mute.It ceased; yet still the sails made onA pleasant noise till noon,A noise like of a hidden brookIn the leafy month of June,That to the sleeping woods all nightSingeth a quiet tune.Till noon we quietly sailed on,Yet never a breeze did breathe:Slowly and smoothly went the ship,Moved onward from beneath.Under the keel nine fathom deep,From the land of mist and snow,The spirit slid: and it was heThat made the ship to go.The sails at noon left off their tune,And the ship stood still also.
The Sun, right up above the mast,Had fixed her to the ocean:But in a minute she gan stir,With a short uneasy motion--Backwards and forwards half herlengthWith a short uneasy motion.Then like a pawing horse let go,She made a sudden bound:It flung the blood into my head,And I fell down in a swound.How long in that same fit I lay,I have not to declare;But ere my living life returned,I heard and in my soul discernedTwo VOICES in the air."Is it he?" quoth one, "Is this the man?By him who died on cross,With his cruel bow he laid full low,The harmless Albatross.
"The spirit who bideth byhimselfIn the land of mist and snow,He loved the bird that lovedthe manWho shot him with his bow."The other was a softer voice,As soft as honey-dew:Quoth he, "The man hathpenance done,And penance more will do."
Summary………. After the albatross falls off our hero’s neck, he can finally sleep. In his sleep he dreams of drinkable water, and sure enough, he wakes up to rain. Bear in mind, ever since midway through Part II, the guy’s had nothing to drink but the blood he sucked from his own arm in Part III. And now, things are getting really crazy. All around the ship, supernatural events are occurring. For one thing, there’s a great storm of wind, which doesn’t actually reach the ship, but is so close and so strong that the mere sound of it makes the sails tremble. Mysterious fire dances through the sky; as for the rain, it’s coming from one isolated cloud (presumably right above the ship), so that the moon is still visible. Lightning from this cloud doesn’t bend like normal lightning. As if that wasn’t weird enough, the ship begins to move now, even though the wind still hasn’t reached it; the dead men suddenly groan and rise up, animated corpses, but it’s evident that their spirits are not there: they do not respond to the narrator. They resume their tasks, but carry them out like robots. When the night ends, the zombies gather and begin to sing! A beautiful angelic chorus. The ship comes to a stop around noon, but not for long. The vessel starts sliding back and forth in the water, before suddenly shooting forward like a rocket, with so much force that it topples our friend and puts him in a daze. In that daze, he hears spirits talking about him: it turns out there was a spirit in the arctic region who was friends with the Albatross, and that spirit seems to have cast the curse on the ship. Furthermore, it’s revealed that while things have recently gotten better for the suffering sailor, he has more woe to come: “And penance more will do.”
Not only can he pray again, but he can alsoLINE WISE sleep again. Exhausted from all the endless cursing and dying of thirst, he falls asleep.EXPLANATION He credits Mary, the mother of Christ, for this sleep. Naturally, he dreams about drinking water.Stanzas 67-69 But his dream actually comes true: it rains when he wakes up. Sailors are really good at collecting rainwater from their sails and in buckets, and the Mariner has all the water he needs. (In reality, a severely dehydrated person like that would probably die from drinking too much water too fast, but we wont quibble with Coleridge on this one.) He feels as light as if he had died and was now a ghost. But a happy ghost.
Stanzas 71-75 Now that the curse has been lifted, more good news follows. He hears a loud wind in the distance. The sound of the wind rattles the dried out ("sere") sails. But its important to remember that the wind hasnt reached the ship yet. He sees new activity in the sky. More stars return, and he sees things he calls "fire-flags." We have to think hes either talking about weird lightning flashes – but without clouds to block the stars – or the Aurora (in this case, the Southern Lights). He sees a black cloud, the partial moon and lightning falling in perfectly vertical fashion. Were not sure exactly whats going on, except that these are wild descriptions.
LINE 79 AND 80 The Wedding Guest interrupts the story again. Hes not the bravest Wedding Guest weve ever heard of. Hes afraid that the Mariner is now telling a zombie story. The Mariner reassures the frightened Wedding Guest that the bodies of the sailors were possessed not by their original owners, but by a bunch of good spirits, like angels. Oh, that helps. The Mariner continues his story. He knew that spirits were angels because, when dawn comes, they all escape from the bodies and break out into song.
Stanzas 81-85 The spirits float around the ship and sing like birds. They are like an entire symphony of voices. They stop singing after dawn, but the sails continue to make a pleasant sound like a stream following through a forest. The ship keeps moving, but theres no wind. What gives? The Mariner is sticking with his theory that someone or something is moving the boat from underneath the ocean.
Stanzas 86-92 The Mariner explains his theory in more detail. The same spirit "nine fathoms deep" that earlier caused such problems near the Arctic has now decided to play nice and guide the ship up to the equator. At noon the sun is again directly above the mast, which means that were back at the equator. The ship stops and remains motionless for a bit. Then, all of a sudden, the ship takes off as if someone has just released a really fast horse or, to use a more modern metaphor, as if someone has put the gas pedal to the floor. The force of this movement knocks out the Mariner, and he loses consciousness. While in a stupor, he hears two mysterious voices talking. Were back in supernatural territory, here. One of the voices wants to know if the Mariner is the guy who shot the nice albatross. He sounds judgmental. The other voice sounds gentler and says that the Mariner has done a lot of penance for his mistake, and hell do more penance in the future. Weve got a bit of a good cop/bad cop routine here.