The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"Rime of the Ancient Mariner:" Defining an Era in 625 Lines

Renowned French writer and philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet (better known as “Voltaire”) once stated, “One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.” Indeed, his words could not ring truer when used to describe the Romantic Period (1785-1830). Ranging from the artistic styles of William Blake to the antiheroic verses of Lord Byron, the era was defined by the poets who used their works to reflect the ideals, controversies, and newfound knowledge of the time period. One of these poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, managed to do this to an astounding degree in his 625 line epic, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Detailing one seafarer’s path to redemption, the poem is known for its unique take on human existence and the spiritual role of nature. However, more than anything, “Rime” accurately reflects upon the era in which it was written by combining elements of horror, natural respect, imagination, and individuality.

Coleridge’s use of supernatural elements throughout “Rime” clearly reflects the common Romantic sentiment of disdain towards authors that used horror, violence, and antiheroism as means to entertain their readers. A rebuttal to the overwhelming shift towards scientific and mental...

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