The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

the role of bird


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A great, white sea bird that presumably saves the sailors from the icy world of the "rime" by allowing them to steer through the ice and sending them a good, strong wind. The Albatross, however, also makes a strange mist follow the ship. It flies alongside the ship, plays with the sailors, and eats their food, until the Ancient Mariner shoots it with his crossbow. Its corpse is hung around the Ancient Mariner's neck as a reminder of his crime and falls off only when he is able to appreciate the beauty of nature and pray once more. The Albatross is loved by a powerful spirit who wreaks havoc on and kills the sailors while leaving the Ancient Mariner to the special agony of Life-in-Death.