Literary Elements In The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

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In the poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, its primary focus is about an old sailor called the Mariner and his devastating journey across the open seas. This poem teaches the reader about an important lesson on realizing that all of nature is beautiful and deserves respect. The beginning of the story initiates with the Mariner stopping a person who was on his way to a wedding party to tell his story about a curse that was placed upon him after killing an Albatross which was seen as a good omen by his crewmates. As the wedding guest, who was caught in this predicament, struggled to release himself from the Mariner, he finds himself completely stuck in such a way that he feels mesmerized by the “glittering eye” (Coleridge…show more content…
Personification is shown in the quote, “Storm-blast came...tyrannous and strong...struck with his o’ertaking wings...chased us south along” (Coleridge 41-44). The addition of “o’ertaking wings” enhances the event as if the storm was like a living creature chasing the ship south with ultimate control. This can make the reader feel like they are spectating the Mariner’s story just as if it were happening right in front of his/her eyes. When the ship stopped moving, the Mariner said, “We stuck, nor breath nor motion;/ As idle as a painted ship/ Upon a painted ocean” (Coleridge 116-118). In other words, he is implying that they are no longer moving just as though everything was like a painting, completely frozen in place. The simile is being used to compare the ship to a painting and highlighting the reality of the ship’s static position. Another example Coleridge uses is irony to emphasize the events happening to the Mariner and his shipmates in this quote, “Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” (Coleridge 119-122). He reflects upon the ship being surrounded by water, but none of the sailors can taste a single drop due to the surroundings being purely saltwater. The reader can feel the Mariner’s struggle for water to quench his thirst with the saying of “water” multiple times. When the Mariner continued to stay in a state of Life-in-Death, he said, “Lay like a load on my weary eye,/ And the dead were at my feet” (Coleridge 251-252). This shows the isolation of the Mariner in terms of a simile when he feels like the burden of killing the Albatross and the deaths of the sailors are pushing upon his eyes. Coleridge aids the Mariner’s story with figurative language to serve as a way to express his feelings and in turn, sparks the imagination of the reader throughout
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