What is an explanation for the stanzas of part 1 of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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Part I is the exposition of the poem. An ancient seafarer stops a guest going to a wedding and says he must tell the guest a story. The mariner proceeds to tell about a time he was a seaman on a ship bound for the polar regions. Once the ship...

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Part I is the exposition of the poem. An ancient seafarer stops a guest going to a wedding and says he must tell the guest a story. The mariner proceeds to tell about a time he was a seaman on a ship bound for the polar regions. Once the ship gets close to their destination, it is stuck in ice. Suddenly, the men see an albatross and consider it a good luck symbol, probably because it meant they were close to land. They began to feed the bird and it stayed with them. Finally, the ice split and the ship was freed. As the ship continued on its journey, the albatross followed the ship until the mariner took his crossbow and killed the albatross with an arrow.

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It would be a little bit difficult to discuss a stanza wise summary of the poem in this short span. Basically it is a poem spoken by a Mariner about his sea voyage. The listener is a wedding guest who has been stopped by the Mariner. Critics debate about the significance of the events and characters described throughout the poem. A number of critics consider the poem as a Christian allegory whereas some read the poem as Coleridge’s personal biography.

The enhanced eText of eNotes may help you to understand the poem thoroughly. An extensive criticism is also available in eNotes for a detailed critical understanding. Please visit the following links.

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