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What is the message of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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nick7 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 28, 2013 at 12:31 AM via web

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What is the message of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 28, 2013 at 4:56 AM (Answer #1)

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of Ancient Mariner is a moral narrative poem that sends the readers complex messages, and this complexity mainly arises due to the rich symbolism. In the poem, we see that a mariner stops a wedding guest and forces him to listen to a story in which he kills an albatross during a journey he makes with other sailors in the sea. We come to know that the mariner feels he is cursed because of this. He is disturbed and harbors remorse for the wrong he did by killing the innocent creature in “blind faith” or superstition.  

Consider the following lines from the poem,

He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small; 
For the dear God who loveth us 
He made and loveth all...

These lines clearly state how important it is to love and respect all the creations of God. God loves all of his creations equally, whether they are great or small. The mariner shouldn’t have killed the albatross. This moral message is understood only in the end.


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