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

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the function of the wedding guest in "The Rime of the Ancient Marnier?"

Expert Answers info

Cleveland Goodman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write249 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Another role of the wedding guest in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is to function as a stand-in for the reader. The wedding guest provides a reason for us to hear the tale, and because the ancient mariner simply walks up and begins telling the tale, the reader gets the feeling of being taken aback and caught off guard, just as the wedding guest is. Also, the wedding guest is useful in conveying one of Coleridge's themes that knowledge leads to sadness, as for all intents and purposes, the wedding guest should be joyous, celebrating a union and a new beginning for a happy couple.

However, after hearing the mariner's tale, the wedding guest is forever changed, and their world is forever slightly diminished by the knowledge of what the mariner has experienced. Further, sea-voyages have often been used as metaphors for weddings, as the couple is embarking on a trip into the unknown together. While this metaphor alludes to the idea of endless possibility, because...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 701 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University


calendarEducator since 2014

write6,199 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History




Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial