Why do you agree or disagree with C.M. Bowra’s evaluation of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?  

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In C.M. Bowra's critical analysis of Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Bowra states that the poem

"creates not a negative but a positive condition, a state of faith which is complete and satisfying because it is founded on realities in the living world and in the human heart."

One could justify an agreement with his analysis based upon the fact that the reasoning behind the poem is one which offers a warning. Coleridge, assumedly, wished to offer a suggestion about life and morality when his narrator tells the tale of the albatross to the wedding guest.

Bowra goes on to say, in his criticism, that

the triumph of The Ancient Mariner is that it presents a series of incredible events through a method of narration which makes them not only convincing and exciting but in some sense a criticism of life.

Easily, one could accept this reasoning based upon the fact that the poem offers a suggestion of how to live life, the concept of living with consequences, and the importance of morality.

Therefore, I would have to agree with Bowra in regards to his point-of-view regarding that the poem offers a "positive condition," overriding the negative one many other critics have stated.

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