In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," how is the killing of the albatross being avenged?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Nature avenges the arbitrary death of the albatross by causing all the wind to cease so that the forward motion of the ship is stopped and all of the men became completely dehydrated in the devastating sun.  With no movement and no supplies, the men are stuck.  One of the most famous lines of the poem comes in section two when the irony of the situation is explained by his saying,

"Water , water, everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink." 

When the men are on the verge of death, Life-In-Death appears and all of the men drop dead.  The mariner states that "every soul, it passed me by, Like the whizz of my crossbow!"  The mariner feels immense guilt for the tragedy he has caused with his foolish and thoughtless behavior in the killing of the albatross.

The death of the albatross is avenged in the long term by the mariner's life-long mission to tell the story of what he did and what he learned about nature through his harrowing experience in the aftermath of the killing.  At the end of the poem he explains that he has learned that,

He prayeth best. who loveth best

 All things both great in small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.

The Alabatross is fully avenged when the old mariner not only realizes the error of his ways, but passes along his wisdom to future generations.

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