‘Poetry gives most pleasure when only generally
and not perfectly understood’
do not sufficiently understand the story
to analyze it”
ancient mariner frustrated
interpretation because it defected
For the romantics it appeared an
enigma and a failure; its complexity
was comfortably construed to be
adjudged as defects and its
to C.M Bowra , the ancient
mariner is a tale of crime and
It falls into seven sections and each
sections tells of a new stage in the
first section tells of the
actual crime. The mariner kills
the bird out of anger or irritation.
Therefore he suffers the most.
Secondly, the crime is against
The mariner begins to suffer punishment.
The ship has ceased to move, and the sailors are
tortured by thirst while the moving things in the
hideous scene are the slimy creatures
This section shows how the guilty soul becomes
conscious of what it has done.
The mariner first begins to realize the consequence
of his actions.
“Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold.
Her skin was white as leprosy,
The nightmare life in death was she,
Who thicks man’s blood with cold”
sense of solitude is elaborated.
Guilty soul is cut off not merely
merely from human intercourse but
from consoling friendship of
nature, which mocks it with majestic
fifth section continues the
process of souls revival.
The ship begins to move, and the
mariner hears heavenly music and is
comforted by it.
In the sixth section, the mariner is
still haunted by the presence of his
to psychoanalysts, the
mariner represents though peculiarly
the mother. He is an archetype, the
wise old man whose hypnotic
glittering eyes implies the Laccanian
phallic gaze of simultaneous identity
tale begins with a
unquestionable premise: there was
The vessel constitutes a basic
metaphor for the body beginning
The ship’s movement follows the
pulsations and rhythms of fluid
In part one the mariner is passive.
first the mariners only perceive
only a rhythm of natural variationthe rising and the setting of the sun.
The rhythm is disturbed by the
storm blast which drives the vessel
into the frozen Atlantic.
The sun and the storm are he while
the moon is she.
to psychoanalysts the
masculine and the feminine however
with both pleasant and unpleasant
The father sun implies comforting
But the storm blasts, also male, is
experienced as an abusive father.
The albatross connotes mother and
father in both good and bad aspects.
in death is a recurrent theme in
Coleridge’s thought and it meant to
him a mixture of remorse and
At the end, the life in death still haunts
the mariner, and he says
“since then at an uncertain hour,
The agony returns
and till my ghastly tale is told
The heart within me burns”