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Figurative Language, Imagery, Motif

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by

Sherry Yu

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Figurative Language, Imagery, Motif

"At length did cross an Albatross: Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name."
Nature
Nature is a main motif throughout Rime, using the sun and moon, water, and the Albatross to convey the overall theme of the poem.
Prayer
Personification
Describes objects as if they are living.
Religion is a prominent theme in Rime, as the author uses three different representations of religion: the wedding, prayer, and Biblical references
Creating Meaning
"At length did cross an Albatross:
Through the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name."
AP English Literary Devices
Motifs in Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Motif: a recurring theme, symbol, or idea in literary work
Imagery
The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas.
Weather/Nature
"In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine" stanza 19
Figurative Language
Figurative Language includes similes, metaphors, personification, and hyperbole.

It is used to create imagery and emotion through comparisons or exaggeration.
Religion
Similes & Metaphors
Creates imagery through comparison
"Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing"

"And now t'was like all instruments"

"A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June"
Setting the Scene
"As idle as a painted ship
Upon an painted ocean."

"The Water, like a witch's oils"
The sun and moon reflect each other, and the moon dictates everything that happens in the poem.

"Beneath the lightning and the Moon/The dead men gave a groan."

"The harbour-bay was clear as glass,/ So smoothly it was strewn!/And on the bay the moonlight lay,/And the shadow of the moon."
The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon
"Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy"

"Still as a slave before his lord"

"All fixed on me their stony eyes."
The Sun
"The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!"
"As if through dungeon-grate he peered,
With broad and burning face."
"Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist."
"Are those her ribs through which the sun
Did per, as through a grate?"
Other Personification
"He loved
the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow"
Sun and Moon
Water
"I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray:
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
my heart as dry as dust"

"We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray-
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep away"

The theme of prayer in the poem is a recurring motif-the mariner only prays when he is crying out to God for freedom from his pain. However, the Albatross falls into the ocean when he blessed the "slimy things" that he had hated at first, symbolizing the curse being broken. (Love for your enemy is a virtue of Biblical following).
First reference to moon
Moon is superior, no weather or activity can deter its shine
Such a prominent figure that it is indicative of what's to come.
"
Water is a paradox of survival and death

"The ice was here, the ice was there,/The ice was all around"

"Water, water, everywhere,/Nor any drop to drink."
"He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast"
"And now the STORM-BLAST came and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He stuck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased south along."
"The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper o'er the sea."
Moon
"The stars were dim, and thick the night,/The steerman's face by his lamp gleamed white;/From the sails the dew did drip-/Till clombe above the eastern bar/The horned Moon, with one bright star/Within the nether tip."
"I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire"
Albatross
No weather can break moon's shine
Paints an onimous picture of steerman, ship
Significance of horned moon
Then everyone starts dying
moon cont.
"All in a
hot
and
copper
sky,
The
bloody
Sun, at noon,
right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the
Moon
."
"And the bay was white with silent light"
Characterization
Sun is strongest at noon; yet the moon is still dominant.
Foreshadowing, occurs after sailor shoots albatross
Hyperbole
Weather
"And now the
STORM-BLAST
came and he
Was
tyrannous
and
strong
:
He struck with his o'ertaking
wings
,
And chased south along."
"And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root"
"With throats unslaked, with black lips baked"
"And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I"
The Albatross is a recurring theme throughout the poem, as it is the catalyst of the Mariner's dilemma
Simile and metaphor often assist in creating imagery in the poem by making comparisons.
"And straight the sun was flecked with bars
(Heaven's mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face."
Personification & Motif
Reoccurring personification involving the sun is a motif throughout the poem.
Adjectives help compare the storm to an animal, suggesting the power of nature.
"The Bridegroom's doors re opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din."

"O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together t the kirk
With a goodly company!"

The use of a wedding as a setting for the storytelling is a motif for the holy merging of two beings=the groom and the bride, and the idea of togetherness follows in the natural side between the combination of nature and humanity. The idea of the wedding guest being the listener and interpreter of the story is representative of ourselves, listening and interpreting Coleridge's story.
The Wedding
"'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

"'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'"


"Who died on cross" may be literally referencing the crossbow, however "cross" is also a Biblical reference, because Jesus died on a cross to save humanity as a sacrifice. Therefore, the cross is symbolism for a way of holy sacrifice. The mariner shot the holy Albatross using a cross-bow as an allusion to the cross that Jesus died on. Because the symbolism is recurring, it is a motif. (More on the Albatross under "nature").

Biblical References
Nature
Setting up the scene
Supernatural, romantic depiction
Mariner blesses snakes in next couple of stanzas
Results in albatross falling off
Reveals how nature is intertwined and can have impact on personal life. Nature is to be respected/feared
"Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue
, glossy
green
, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of
golden

fire
."
The albatross
"It [albatross] ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steer us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow..."
weather (ice)
"The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!"
Personifies ice: animal-like
Serves as an obstacle
Good omens, positivity
Good weather, fair seas
Ice obstacle promptly overcome
Nature can be a FRIEND
Death
Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With
heavy thump
, a
lifeless lump
,
They
dropped
down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies
fly
,-
They fled to
bliss
or
woe
!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the
whiz
of my
CROSS-BOW
!
Portrays significance of nature, consequences of killing bird
Reveals how the deaths are perceived by the sailor, reminds him of bird
The Glittering Eye
He holds him with his
glittering
eye-
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a
three years child
:
The Mariner hath his will.
Reveals Mariner's charisma
Later, the Wedding-Guest wakes up a "sadder and a wiser man"
Full transcript