The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Lesson of the Albatross in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" College

In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge tells the story of a sailor and his perilous adventures. This tale follows the Mariner and his crew as they travel between the equator and the South Pole, and then travel back to England. On the surface this story seems to be just another tale of a sailor. If the reader delves deeper, he will discover not just a story, but a search to understand the place of man in the divine plan. Coleridge, like other Romantic poets, tries to find the right balance between reason and spirituality and uses his poem to show the complexities of free will, and the consequences of slighting divine influence. Also like other Romantic poets, Coleridge uses symbolism to connect the material world with the spiritual. The symbols Coleridge chooses helps him illustrate this theme of spiritual connection in a world overrun by reason, because “for Coleridge, symbolic vision is profoundly religious, lifting the symbol maker--the poet--into the Divine realm of the Symbol Giver” (Levy 225).

The Romantic movement can be seen as a reaction to the Enlightenment's emphasis on logic and reason. In fact, the Romantic movement is an attempt to explore consciousness, imagination,...

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