Cover image of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Literary Devices Lesson Plan

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Literary Devices Lesson Plan

by eNotes

  • Release Date: May 03, 2019
  • Subjects: Language Arts and Literature
  • Age Levels: Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, and Grade 9
  • Pages: 22
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Document Details


Poetic Devices that Convey the Mariner's Tale:

This lesson plan focuses on imagery, figurative language, and sound devices employed by Coleridge in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Students will identify and analyze examples of imagery created through figurative language and identify and examine examples of various sound devices, including meter, rhyme, repetition, and alliteration; they will explain how imagery and musicality impact the poem. In studying these devices in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” students will be better able to describe the poem’s dreamlike atmosphere.

Learning Objectives: 
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to

  • identify and describe examples of imagery in the text;
  • explain how various images in the text are created through figurative language (simile, metaphor, personification, and onomatopoeia);
  • identify and analyze examples of rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and alliteration in the text;
  • analyze and explain how imagery, figurative language, and sound devices create the poem’s mysterious, fantastic, dreamlike atmosphere.

Skills: close reading, identifying and analyzing examples of various poetic devices, interpreting effects of various poetic devices

Common Core Standards: RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.5

Introductory Lecture:

In 1798, friends and literary colleagues William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads, a collection of poems to which Coleridge contributed four works, among them “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

Revolutionary in poetic thought, style, and substance, Lyrical Ballads played a primary role in establishing Romanticism in English literature, and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” endures as a Romantic masterpiece in world literature. Structured in six parts, the poem is a narrative that tells a dramatic tale of the sea. Through the protagonist, an old sailor compelled to relate the strange events he once experienced on a fateful voyage, Coleridge develops the poem’s primary theme: spiritual redemption through love.

The plot in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is gripping, its supernatural elements unforgettable. It is in the narrative’s poetic elements, however, that Coleridge’s intensely Romantic imagination and consummate artistry are most evident. The language is beautiful and often hypnotic, punctuated by riveting scenes and haunting images. The stanzas are melodic, filled with rhythms and rhymes that draw the reader into a mysterious, dreamlike atmosphere. Through Coleridge’s skill in weaving a tapestry of vivid images and musical sounds, the reader, like the wedding guest who listens to the old mariner’s tale, is entranced. As the spellbinding story unfolds, reality gives way to Coleridge’s Romantic vision, and spiritual truth is revealed.


Our eNotes Essential Lesson Plans have been developed to meet the demanding needs of today’s educational environment. Each lesson incorporates collaborative activities with textual analysis, targeting on discrete learning objectives. The main components of each plan include the following:

  • An introduction to the text
  • A step-by-step guide to lesson procedure
  • A previous and following lesson synopsis for preparation and extension ideas
  • A collection of handouts and worksheets complete with answer keys
Each of these comprehensive plans focuses on promoting meaningful interaction, analytical skills, and student-centered activities, drawing from the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and the expertise of classroom teachers.

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