illustration of the Ancient Mariner in the ocean with an albatross tied around his neck

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Find the lines in the poem that identify the theme. Explain why this theme is more than just a moral tacked on to the end of the poem.

Expert Answers

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The lines that state the central theme of the poem come at the very end, when the mariner is concluding to the Wedding guest what he has learnt from the experience:

He prayeth well, who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast.


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 words seem to echo the famous hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful", which would indicate that the theme of the story concerns nature and its ability to exact its own revenge for crimes committed against it. It is essential to show love towards all creatures, therefore, or else you will face the consequences. Because of this, true prayer can be expressed far more profoundly in actions and in love towards all of God's creatures.

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