What was the Mariner's effect on the wedding guest?
In Part IV of the poem, the wedding guest is also afraid of the Mariner. At this part of the poem, the Mariner has just described how Death came to the ship and took all of the crew. The wedding guest replies:
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!I fear thy skinny hand!And thou art long, and lank, and brown,As is the ribbed sea-sand.
I pass, like night, from land to land;I have strange power of speech;That moment that his face I see,I know the man that must hear me:To him my tale I teach.
In Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a mariner who has been through a harrowing experience must do penance by wandering the world and telling his tale to the person who needs to hear it. At the beginning of the poem, the mariner accosts one of three guests who are going into a wedding, putting him under a spell so that he must listen to the mariner's story, even though he beats his breast in frustration at not being able to go to his relative's wedding. The first effect the mariner has on the guest is that he mesmerizes the wedding guest.
The second effect is that the wedding guest is stunned by the mariner's facial expression as the mariner gets to the part of the story where he shoots the albatross.
After hearing the entire tale, the mariner leaves the wedding guest. The wedding guest is so disturbed by the story that he no longer wants to go into the wedding. He leaves as if he is senseless. This could mean that he is numb, or it could mean that his thinking ability has left him. This effect is not permanent, however; the next morning the wedding guest wakes up and is a wiser man for having heard the story, although he also carries a lingering sadness.