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Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," begins in a wedding reception hall, where the narrator tells his story to a wedding guest. The setting of the actual story he tells begins on a ship with 201 sailors, including the ancient mariner, who narrates the poem. Throughout the poem, the ship sails the Atlantic Ocean, moves on to the South Pole, the Pacific Ocean, and finally the mariner's homeland, which is not identified. At the wedding reception hall, the narrator begins his story, which he feels he has to tell to ease his conscience. It is his penance for his sin of killing the albatross-that for the rest of his days, he must tell his tale, and he can tell at a moment's glance which person he should single out to hear it.
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