Samuel Taylor Coleridge Questions and Answers

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What is the message of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Another possible "message" in this poem is that of death, repentance, and resurrection. There is a considerable amount of Christian symbolism in the poem as well as outright allusions to Christianity, with many passages to suggest this is a theme of the work.

The albatross seems to be a Christ symbol:

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name(63-66).

In Christianity, Christ was sent by God to save mankind, as this albatross was sent to save the ship. But the Ancient Mariner kills the albatross:

'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why look'st thou so?'—With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS (79-82).

Subsequently, the men die as the result of being trapped on the ocean with no...

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nilanshu1973 | Student

A sinner and a guity man has the the burden of the deed on his soul. The Mariner had killed the innoent bird Albatross, celebrated by some scholars as the pious symbol for Jesus.This killing of the bird haunted the man and his predicament is superbly  recounted in his encounter with the supernatural figure of 'Life in Death'. In his treatment of the supernatural, Colerdige has achieved the willing supension of disbelief. The protagonist's anguish is deciphered in the oft-quoted expression "Water, water everywhere. Not a drop to drink."  The Mariner comes out of this moral curse when he blesses the water snakes . Besides, the agggrieved soul of the mariner finds a much needed cathartic release when he finds a wedding guest whom he naarrates the whole tale in a very passionate manner.