What is the relationship between the natural and the supernatural in Samuel Taylor Coleridges' contributions to the Lyrical Ballads?
The original _Lyrical Ballads_(1798), a joint poetic project by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, contained many poems by the former but only four by the latter. The relationship between the natural and the supernatural is an important theme in a number of poems in that volume. This theme is a particularly important, however, in Coleridge’s lengthy Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Links between the natural and supernatural begin appearing in the Rime almost as soon as nature is mentioned. In line 25, for instance, the rising sun is personified, as if already nature is being treated as more than merely natural. The “storm-blast” in line 41 is similarly personified, and even the noises of the cracking ice are made to sound supernatural (61), as if the ice is somehow alive. Finally, when the famous albatross appears, it is treated by the men “As if it had been a Christian soul” (65).
The shock, of course, is that the mariner kills the...
(The entire section contains 480 words.)
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