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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Kategorie: Literatura

Typ práce: Seminárky/referáty

Škola: Západočeská univerzita v Plzni Fakulta pedagogická, Plzeň

Charakteristika: Cílem práce je porovnat realistické prvky s projevy nadpřirozena v básni The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


Reálné prvky
Nadpřirozené jevy
Dodatek o klasicismu


"Samuel Taylor Coleridge - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

I think I was kind of predestined to analyze The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (in case I believed in destiny at all). I was raised by my parents to like rock’n’roll music and even despite the fact I have never liked heavy metal music, there is a band I just have to respect: Iron Maiden. It is not a typical rock band – the most curious thing is that they are quite intellectual and fancy in history and literature. And so, there is this song called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, or more like a music composition about fourteen minutes long, retelling the story of the Ancient Mariner. And that is why I chose this poem.
So, this was my motive before-reading. After I read the poem, I learned my decision had been just right. The poem itself is a perfect example of early romantism, expressed by following means:
• Hero: obviously, there is a kind of asocial lad of a main character. He is alone. And, in addition, he kills the Albatross.
• Background: Full of darkness. It does not have to be an old castle, I think a ship of a Flying-Dutchman-style is sufficient enough.
• Plot: Free from earlier classical moral lessons, there is no fight between the Good and the Evil, nothing like that.
• And, in addition also, there are phantoms, ghosts, spirits and other supernatural powers.
However, the topic of this essay is to tell the realistic from the supernatural in this particular poem. The whole poem is composed as a frame story of the Ancient Mariner who visits a wedding and tells the wedding guests his story about what he experienced years ago. The poem was written in 1798.
According to Andrew C. F. David, certain mister William Wales – who was also a tutor of Mr Coleridge - took part in a journey of James Cook whose goal was to discover the formerly fabled Terra Australis within the south polar territorries. He was not fully successful but he managed to discover South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands in 1774. During the journey, his two ships indeed experienced some fog troubles which separated them. Some scholars argue, that the poem might be also inspired by the voyage of Thomas James and his experiences in the Arctic. Sir Thomas James was the first European voyager who deliberately wintered in the Northern coast of Canada. What is important, he built up some primitive cabins, so his crewmen suffered from low-temperature symptoms. And Mr James carefully registered and took notes about these.
This is the background. Now, let us get back to the story again: the Mariner tells a story about his journey which was more like a continuous series of unfortunate events. His ship is carried by the storm somewhere to the South. I would like to highlight two metaphors at this point: The first is the metaphor of the Sun as a male entity which I find extraordinery from my point of view. The another one is the personification of the storm as someone who chases the ship, literally hunts it down.
It is not unusual for a ship at the open seas to get hit by a storm and get lost in the fog. It is also not unlikely for a ship in the antarctic to meet an albatross. Why the Mariner shoots it down, nobody needs to know – which is the true beauty of romantism: nobody has to know the hero’s motives, nobody has to justify them, nobody is obliged to act in the name of divine morale or the common good.
Eventually, the fog the ship had been stuck in disperses. But then, the ship got stuck again in the sea ,as idle as a painted ship in a painted ocean‘. There are obviously even shallow waters around the Antarctic coast in the direction of Tasmania, more of them are nevertheless on the Pacific side. Still, there can be some true core within the author’s artistic licence."





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