Why does the mariner tell his story?

The mariner tells his story from time to time because the "agony" over what he did sometimes returns and can't be relieved until he finds the right person to hear his tale.

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In part 7, the mariner explains to the wedding guest why he tells his story. The mariner and the ship began to sail home—helped, in part, by the reanimated bodies of the sailors, now controlled by angels—and when the ship sank, the mariner joined a pilot and a hermit in a rowboat. The mariner sought absolution from the hermit, and though it left him "free" when he confessed his tale to him, the mariner is still sometimes filled with the overwhelming need to tell someone his saga. He explains,

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
He also explains that he wanders until he finally finds the "face" of the person he knows is the one who is meant to hear his tale. In this case, it is the wedding guest. Although the wedding guest is at first impatient to get to the wedding, which he misses, he realizes it was far "sweeter" to hear the Mariner's story. To drive home his message, the mariner states,
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
The mariner's burning need to tell his story from time to time to relieve the "agony" of his guilt shows the power of story-telling and the power of framing our narratives in a positive way. While the mariner does not skip over the ghastly parts of his story, he is able to emphasize the lesson he learned about God's love for all creation and humankind's need to cherish it.
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