“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Poem by Samuel Coleridge

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” or “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere” is among the longest poems composed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem has been set in the later Middle Ages and has a very mysterious, ghostly, and uncanny atmosphere. The poem has a number of themes. Firstly, Coleridge tries to tell us that humans are sinful creatures and have to repent for all their wrongdoings. He also tells us that we need to respect all of God’s creatures, like the albatross in this poem. By telling us how the mariners treat the albatross, Coleridge tells us that guilt will hunt the sinners till they repent. The poem has been divided into 7 parts. The stanzas mainly comprise of 4 lines, but some even have 5 or 6 lines. Coleridge uses an alternating meter in this poem. For the 4 feet per line, he has used iambic tetrameter while for the three feet per line he uses iambic trimester, as evident from the following lines,

“The sun | now rose | up – on | the right:
Out of | the sea | came he,”

Coleridge has used a simile in this poem where he compares a bride to a rose in the lines,

“The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she”

The poet has also personified the sun since refers to the sun using “he”,

“The Sun came up upon the left
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right”

Coleridge also uses irony to explain a paradoxical situation when he says,

“Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.”

We also find the use of synecdoche in the following lines of this poem since “wave” here refers to the vast ocean,

“The western wave was all a-flame”
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