The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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What is the effect of the narrative framework of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Narrative framework (narrative structure) is focused on story and plot. Plot involves conflict, rising actions, climax, etc., and story involves things like characters and setting. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is at heart an adventure story. Students of mine regularly make comparisons between it and the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The story involves elements that require deep amounts of imagination, and that shouldn't surprise readers knowing that it comes from a Romantic author.

Regardless of the fact that "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a poem, it is a frame story. A frame story is a story set within a story, and it usually involves a character sitting down to tell someone else a story. This is exactly what happens in this poem. The Mariner is compelled to tell his story to certain people, and the wedding guest happens to be one of those people. This essentially makes the reader and the wedding guest the same person. The other way to think about it is that the reader...

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