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Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Allusion, Symbolism, Allegory
by

Matthew Dudak

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Symbolism, Allegory and Allusion in Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Matthew Dudak, Titus Hou, Alex Immekus, Brad Kane, Emily Lisle, Jen Moy
Symbolism
Definition: Symbolism is the use of objects, actions, events or words spoken to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense.

Allegory
A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral one.
Characteristics

Symbols
Extended metaphor
Moral message
Personification
Story with hidden meaning
Abstract ideas

Allusion
Definition: A Statement that makes reference to literature, historical events etc. without specifically mentioning it.
In Rime
The Albatross
Religious/Moral Allegory
Symbolism
Supernatural Elements
Personification
The Sun and Moon
Religious Allegory
The Hermit
Major Symbols
The Albatross
The Sun/Moon
Hermit
Hermit
"That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood."
Coleridge, makes an allusion to a priest, who can absolve the Mariner of his crime.
Literary Criticism
"Warren argues that the mariner's deed reenacts the fall of man" -Literary Critic David Perkins
-"Quoth he, the man hath penance done,/and penance more will do"
The Albatross represents a Christ-like figure who brings good fortune. His death brings death and destruction to the crew. However after praying, the sin is dropped, allowing the mariner to live.
Supernatural Elements
"The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she, / Who thicks man's blood with cold."
The many men, so beautiful! / And they all dead did lie: / And a thousand thousand slimy things / Lived on; and so did I"
"Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, / And by the holy rood! / A man all light, a seraph-man, / On every corse there stood."
The Hermit saves the Mariner, representing the kindness found in nature.
The Moon is ultimately the God-like figure in the poem, since it literally controls the sea. The Sun is a pawn of the Moon.
The Moon and Sun both foreshadow whatever will happen next.
The Sun brings with it the wrath of God.
The Moon generally brings with it the benevolence of God, but can also bring the wrath.
Examples:
"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." (I. 63-66)
"For all averred, I had killed the bird/ that made the breeze to blow."(II. 93-96)
"Ah! well a-day! what evil looks/Had I from old and young!/Instead of the cross, the Albatross/About my neck was hung."(II. 139-142)
"The souls did from their bodies fly,-/They fled to bliss or woe!/And every soul, it bassed me by,/Like the whizz of my CROSS-BOW" (III. 221-225)
"The self same moment I could pray;/And from my neck so free/The Albatross fell off, and sank/Like lead into the sea"(IV. 289-292)
"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."
"The self same moment I could pray; / And from my neck so free / The Albatross fell off, and sank / Like lead into the sea."
"She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, / That slid into my soul."
"The pang, the curse, from which they died had never passed away"
Theme
"While the mariner sins against God on the Christian level, on the allegorical one, the killing of the albatross is a violation of the principle of cosmic love. In nature there is a moral pattern that dictates that we demonstrate respect for the principle of life itself. The Mariner shows man's capability for bloodlust."
- Literary Critic Scott Foll
Man's disrespect for nature and inclination to sin
"And I had done a hellish thing;/ and it would work 'em woe/ For all averred, I had killed the bird/ That made the breeze to blow!"
"He prayeth best, who loveth best/ All things both great and small"
Sin vs. Redemption
Crime and punishment
Beauty and power of nature
Loneliness
Religious/Moral Allegory
The fall of man and sin
Redemption
Love for nature
"Undoubtedly the most popular approach holds that The Ancient Mariner is, by design and intention, a spiritual allegory depicting human life as a sort of Pilgrim's Progress on the sea: "the Ancient Mariner -- who is at once himself, Coleridge and all humanity -- having sinned, both incurs punishment and seeks redemption".7 Some critics (especially the earlier ones) develop this theme in a crudely allegoric fashion, drawing one-to-one correspondences between events and their significance: the slaying of the albatross = Original Sin"
Literary Critic John Spencer Hill
"However,Coleridge did not intend for the "Rime" to be taken literally, but sought to draw a symbolic parallel between the Mariner and Adam, the killing of the Albatross and the eating of the Forbidden Fruit, and the guilt and deaths of the other Mariners with the original sin and its punishment shared by all of mankind".
-Literary Critic Teresa Gibson
Personification
Death
Life-In-Death
"Is that a DEATH? and are there two?/ Is DEATH that woman's mate?"
Examples:
"The Sun came up upon the left,/Out of the sea came he!" (I.25-26)
"the night, through fog-smoke white,/Glimmered the white Moon-shine." (I.77-78)
"All in a hot and copper sky,/The bloody Sun, at noon" (II.29-30)
"The horned Moon, with one bright star/Within the nether tip" (II.48-49)
"Beaneath the lighning and the Moon/The dead men gave a groan." (V.38-39)
This is an example of the Mariner's quest to seek forgiveness for the Albatrosses death.
Examples:
"This Hermit good lives in that wood/ Which slopes down to the sea./How loudly his sweet voice he rears!/He loves to talk with marineres/That come from a far countree." (VII. 515-519)
"I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,/Who now doth crazy go,/ Laughed loud and long, and all the while/ His eyes went to and fro./ "Ha! ha!" quoth he, "full plain I see,/The Devils knows how to row." (VII. 565-570)
"Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched/With a woeful agony,/Which forced me to begin my tale;/And then it left me free."(VII. 579-582)
"The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
'The game is done! I've won! I've won!'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice."

"The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me."


Additional Examples
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