The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

What moral does the example of suffering and redemption teach us?

From part 3 and 4.

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Coleridge's message is that we should treat all life as sacred, and that the penalties for taking a life are great. The mariner has the body of the albatross hung arounf his nexk, but his torture continues as the boat is approached by a ship crewed by Death, and perhaps even more terrifying, Life-In-Death. The mariner has to watch each of his fellow crewmen die, but he remains alive to witness each cruel passing.

The souls did from the bodies fly,-

They fled to bliss or woe!

And every soul, it passed me by,

Like the whiz of my cross - bow!

The mariner learns that the life of the albatross is as sacred as that of his fellow men, and equally dreadful in the taking.


'Introducing Wordsworth and Coleridge' - N Martin and C Kay