The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Questions and Answers
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner book cover
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Why was the woman described as "nightmare" and "life-in-death" in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"?

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 "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner " is the story of the eventual redemption of the mariner for his senseless act of killing an albatross while at sea.  Almost immediately after killing the bird, the wind stops and the sun beats down on the other men on the ship.  They very quickly become dehydrated -- ironically surrounded by water they cannot drink!  In Part 3 of the poem, the situation is becoming more dire.  The descriptions of the men with their "throats unslacked, with black lips baked" is a vivid image of how close the men are to death.  It is at this point that the mariner sees what appears to be two...

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