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May 30 , 2009

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner relates the experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage. The Mariner stops a man who is on the way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story. The Wedding-Guest's reaction turns from bemusement to impatience and fear to fascination as the Mariner's story progresses, as can be seen in the language style: for example, Coleridge uses narrative techniques such as personification and repetition to create either a sense of danger, of the supernatural or of serenity, depending on the mood of each of the different parts of the poem. The poem explores violation of nature and its resulting psychological effects on the Mariner, who interprets the fates of his crew to be a direct result of his having shot down an albatross.

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