The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Questions and Answers
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," what description did the Mariner give as the ship was driven by the storm?

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In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the mariner, speaking to his captive audience, a wedding guest, describes the storm that overtakes his ship as a male winged beast, “tyrannous and strong,” who catches up with the ship and strikes it with its wings, alternately chasing and driving the ship south into icy climes. The storm pursues “with yell and blow”: in the beast metaphor, the terrifying noise and force of the wind are represented as the winged beast’s vocalizations and breath. The ship flees from the beast, which is the mariner’s way of saying that there was only one direction to safely sail in a big storm: away from the wind.

These descriptions are in lines 41–50 of the poem, where the mariner describes the “STORM-BLAST.” They represent a turning point in the mariner’s journey, as his ship, after sailing cheerily from the harbor and south into warmer seas, is pushed into a strange and hazardous wonderland, an allusion to the cold seas around Antarctica. It...

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