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Use of Symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

Project id 1014243
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2629
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge's use of symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner gives the job to adults as a complex net of representation, rather than a simple narrative about a sailor. The author uses the story of a sailor and his experiences to reveal facets of life. This narrative follows the Mariner and his team as they travel between the equator and the South Pole, and then back to England. Without the symbols, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner would be a poem about an old mariner who is telling a story about killing a bird to a guest at a wedding. Of course, anyone who reads the poem could see that there is more to it than only a simple telling of a story. The first symbol in the poem is that the wedding that the guest and the Mariner are at. This is a highly significant detail, because Coleridge might have left the story telling take place at any given setting, but he chose a marriage. The reason for this was because a marriage is a very spiritual and very happy occasion. Weddings symbolize new beginnings and enjoyment. The reason that Coleridge decided to have this horrid tale told at a wedding could be for any number of factors. I believe that the atmosphere was chosen due to the new beginnings implied. As the Mariner tells his story, the guest is held captive and when the story is completed, the guest becomes essentially a new man and goes off to live the rest of his life. Had the narrative happened at a funeral, the heavy feeling of end would have destroyed the symbolism of new beginnings. It could have been a finish for life, for happiness, and for everything else. If this had occurred, then the simple fact he rose the next day wouldn't have been significant. Hence, the wedding is a really important symbol for this poem. Another significant symbol throughout the poem is that the albatross. It first appears in the first section and it is a symbol of good omen for those sailors. The albatross is a white bird, and that's probably the reason why many Christians of the time saw it as a holy symbol. Because it was a white bird, which had been a indication of righteousness, it therefore was considered a great omen. In this poem, the albatross symbolizes good fortune. As soon as the Mariner kills the albatross, for absolutely no reason, the good fortune that has come upon the boat leaves. Symbolically, the Mariner didn't kill a simple seabird, but instead an omen of good fortune, that is why...

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