Assess the significance of the wedding guest rising as "a sadder and a wiser man."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The original question had to be edited down.  In many ways, the significance of the wedding guest being impacted by the mariner's story demonstrates the relevance of the narrative.  The mariner's purpose is to explain the story of his condemnation and his redemption.  If this narrative does not effectively impact the listener, then the story's purpose is lost.  It is evident that the wedding- guest has been impacted by the nature of the story.  In a Romantic twist, the wedding guest is "sadder" because he is "wiser."  The Romantic thinkers like Coleridge understood that the nature of consciousness in the world is one in which individuals gain more awareness and become more attune to the sadness in the world.  This acquisition of knowledge is not the Neoclassical construction that makes individuals happier and more content. It is one in which the profound truths of the world are understood and designed to make the individual gain more wisdom and become more reflective and sad in the process.  It is here where the wedding- guest has become transformed by the story of the mariner's transformation.  The purpose of the story is to share a personal experience and make the subjective objective in the eyes of others.  It is to this end that the mariner's story becomes meaningful in the eyes of the wedding- guest for he has been impacted by it, as well.  This is why he becomes more wise and thus sadder, representative of how the Romantic thinker that Colerdige was understood self- knowledge and awareness.