Penance in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"The mariner has to do more penance because he is responsible for the deaths of his crew but, does the continued penance mean more than that the spirit cannot...

Penance in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

The mariner has to do more penance because he is responsible for the deaths of his crew but, does the continued penance mean more than that the spirit cannot be repaid for his loss?

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kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think the continued telling of the story that the mariner has to do also serves as his constant reminder that he a) killed a beautiful creature of the sky that was a good omen (the albatross) and that he b) caused the deaths of his crew.  He cannot and will not ever forget this painful lesson that he has learned because he must continue to tell his story for the remainder of his time on Earth. 

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, the penance that the Mariner has to continually pay is meant to be didactically preventative, which means others will hopefully learn from his mistake and realize that they cannot take nature for granted and must respect it. This, in a sense, is what the Wedding Guest learns from hearing the tale, and this is what we are meant to learn from it too.

kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You're very welcome. :)  I'm always glad to help.  

admc | Student

i agree with you. at first i had no clue what this question was asking me that's why i posted it so i could get different point of views and maybe understand the question. you have helped me to understand this question. thank you and god bless

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