1 Answer | Add Yours
In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the albatross was hung on the Mariner's neck at the end of Part 2. In Part 3, he and his crew see a ship approaching, but the ship sails "Without a breeze, without a tide," thus arising suspicion. The ship carries Death and Life-in-Death. The two play dice for the Mariner and his crew. Death takes/kills the crew and Life-in-Death takes the Mariner. In Part 4, the Mariner is faced with a "life in death" where he must look at the eyes and faces of the dead:
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse of a dead man's eye!
After seven days and seven nights of seeing nothing but death and decay, the Mariner sees some living things. He is filled with happiness. He is finally able to pray and/or his prayers are finally answered. The Mariner has transitioned from one who arbitrarily killed the albatross to one who arbitrarily blesses living things. It is at this moment, the end of Part 4, that the albatross falls off of his neck:
The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
We’ve answered 319,817 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question