What is the symbolism of the ice in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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In lines 41-44, the Mariner tells the guest that a storm began to blow the ship south, toward the South Pole. They encounter mist, snow, and icebergs. Eventually, they are surrounded by ice.

The ice was here, the ice was there,

The ice was all around: 

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled, 

Like noise in a swound! 

A "swound" is a "swoon," meaning that the noise and cold are so extreme as to induce fainting. This is a dire predicament and had they become permanently stuck in this icy world, it is probable that they would have died then and there. This is when the albatross arrives and they welcome it "As if...

(The entire section contains 338 words.)

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