The rime of the ancient mariner p 422
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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner p. 422. Form. Ballad Medieval form of poetry intended to be sung Narrative poem in short stanzas Uses repetition of words and sounds (alliteration and assonance) for dramatic effect Balladic effects enhance sense of spiritual stagnation/isolation. Form.

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Form

  • Ballad

    • Medieval form of poetry intended to be sung

    • Narrative poem in short stanzas

    • Uses repetition of words and sounds (alliteration and assonance) for dramatic effect

    • Balladic effects enhance sense of spiritual stagnation/isolation


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Form

  • Seven-Part Structure

    • Seven—Biblical number of completion

    • Traces spiritual cycle of crime, punishment, redemption

    • Mariner as Christ figure—bringing spiritual truth to community


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Form

  • Frame Narrative

    • Provides credibility through real-world setting—wedding feast

    • Provides credibility through “everyman” character—wedding guest


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Form

  • Frame Narrative

    • Provides credibility through real-world setting—wedding feast

    • Provides credibility through “everyman” character—wedding guest

    • Introduces themes of central narrative—community vs. individualism/isolation


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Central Narrative: Setting

  • Community

    • Village and church

    • Spiritual and physical communion left behind

    • Individual ambition vs. community


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Setting

  • Stormy Sea

    • Drives ship to South Pole

    • Spiritual turmoil leading to isolation


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Setting

  • Antarctic—South Pole

    • Cold, ice

    • Isolation

    • Stagnation


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Setting

  • Equator

    • Hot, withering

    • Thirst

    • Stagnation


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Setting

  • Return to Community and Broader World

    • Pilot and Pilot’s Boy—horrors of human evil

    • Hermit—personal expiation

    • Tale told from “land to land”—human redemption, community


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Characters/Creatures

  • Albatross

    • Bird of good omen for sailors

    • Rescues ship from isolation

    • Symbolizes redemptive force of community

    • Christ symbol—love and sacrifice


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Characters/Creatures

  • Why did the Mariner kill the Albatross?

    • Jealousy?

    • Selfish ambition/desire for independence?

    • Defiance of God and community?

    • Irrational, destructive act representing human capacity for evil


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Characters/Creatures

  • Ship’s Crew

    • Blame Mariner

    • Blame Albatross

    • Represent Mariner’s guilt, isolation—human guilt, isolation


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Characters/Creatures

  • Death and Life-In-Death

    • Sunset/Darkness—approaching spiritual death

    • Curse in dead crewmen’s eyes—guilt

    • Life-In-Death—punishment for willful isolation


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Characters/Creatures

  • Water Snakes/Ocean Creatures

    • Mariner recognizes he is not alone

    • Represent love & community of all living things

    • Bring spiritual communion (blessing, prayer) and redemption


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Characters/Creatures

  • Angelic Spirits

    • Animate bodies of dead crewmen

    • Return ship to community

    • Light imagery—spiritual enlightenment

    • Represent desire for community, recognition of unity with God’s creation


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