What is the contrast between stanza 23 and 24 refering to text of the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?  

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stanzas 23 and 24 in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner refer to the dire consequences of shooting the albatross.  In stanza 23, the sailors immediately feel that the mariner had done a terrible thing in shooting the bird, believing that he had brought them bad luck.  The sailors are very superstitious and insist that the albatross had made the wind blow, which for sailing, is not only important, but absolutely necessary.

Then in Stanza 24, the reader sees that the sailors on the ship have had a change of heart when the sun rises and the mists evaporate.  There is a sharp contrast in this stanza to their doom and gloom feelings in the previous stanza; now they feel like perhaps shooting the albatross was the right course of action.  Perhaps, the bird was actually responsible for the previous bad weather, and killing it changed the sailors' luck.

The contrast in these two stanzas between the sailors' changing feelings about the albatross reveals how fickle and superstitious they actually are.

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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