“Rime of the Ancient Mariner Pt. 3” by: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)



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“Rime of the Ancient Mariner Pt. 3” by: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

  • Presented by:
  • Shuntaria Davis
  • Alicia Dixon

Introduction

About Samuel…

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary. After his father's death Coleridge was sent away to Christ's Hospital School in London and also studied at Jesus College. In Cambridge Coleridge met the radical, future poet laureate Robert Southey.
  • Coleridge's collection Poems On Various Subjects was published in 1796, and in 1797 appeared Poems. In the same year he began the publication of a short-lived liberal political periodical The Watchman. He started a close friendship with Dorothy and William Wordsworth, from it resulted Lyrical Ballads, which opened with Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and ended with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey".
  • Suffering from neuralgic and rheumatic pains, Coleridge had become addicted to opium. During the following years he lived in London, on the verge of suicide. He died in Highgate, near London on July 25, 1834.
  • MLA
  • "Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Biography and Works. Search Texts, Read Online. Discuss." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 07 Feb. 2011. .

The Poem

    • There passed a weary time. Each throat Was parched, and glazed each eye. A weary time! a weary time! How glazed each weary eye, When looking westward, I beheld A something in the sky.
    • At first it seemed a little speck, And then it seemed a mist: It moved and moved, and took at last A certain shape, I wist.
    • A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! And still it neared and neared: As if it dodged a water-sprite, It plunged and tacked and veered.
    • With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, We could not laugh nor wail; Through utter drought all dumb we stood! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, A sail! a sail!
    • With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, Agape they heard me call: Gramercy! they for joy did grin, And all at once their breath drew in, As they were drinking all.
    • See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! Hither to work us weal; Without a breeze, without a tide, She steadies with upright keel!
    • The western wave was all a-flame The day was well nigh done! Almost upon the western wave Rested the broad bright Sun; When that strange shape drove suddenly Betwixt us and the Sun.
    • And straight the Sun was flecked with bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon-grate he peered, With broad and burning face.
    • Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud) How fast she nears and nears! Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, Like restless gossameres!
  • Are those her ribs through which the Sun Did peer, as through a grate? And is that Woman all her crew? Is that a DEATH? and are there two? Is DEATH that woman's mate?
  • Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as leprosy, The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold.
  • The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; "The game is done! I've won! I've won!" Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
  • The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark; With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea. Off shot the spectre-bark.
  • We listened and looked sideways up! Fear at my heart, as at a cup, My life-blood seemed to sip!
  • The stars were dim, and thick the night, The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white; From the sails the dew did drip-- Till clombe above the eastern bar The horned Moon, with one bright star Within the nether tip.
  • One after one, by the star-dogged Moon Too quick for groan or sigh, Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye.
  • Four times fifty living men, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan) With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropped down one by one.
  • The souls did from their bodies fly,-- They fled to bliss or woe! And every soul, it passed me by, Like the whizz of my CROSS-BOW!

Poem Paraphrased

  • Stanzas 46-51
  • When the ship approaches, Death and Life-in-Death are playing a game. (Please be Parcheesi, please be Parcheesi.) They are playing dice (no!) to decide who will gain the upper hand.
  • We have the feeling that the fate of the Mariner and his friends rests on this dice game.
  • We have a winner: Life-in-Death! She's just won power over a bunch of raggedy, thirsty sailors. She's probably wishing she had gone on The Price is Right instead – that dinette set is looking pretty good right about now.
  • But nothing happens…yet.
  • Night falls, and the mysterious Ghost Ship ("spectre bark") sails away.
  • Everyone is waiting to see what will happen. Coleridge plays the scene like a suspense movie, complete with dew going drip-drip from the sails. The partial moon rises, and it looks like a "horn," or, if you prefer, a smiley face. One of the "horns" of the moon has a star next to it. This seems to be a bad sign, for some reason.
  • Suddenly, everyone on the ship begins to die. They don't make a fuss but kind of just slump over. However, they do make sure to curse the Mariner with their eyes before they go.
  • There are 200 men on the boat besides the Mariner, and they all die. Their souls escape their dead bodies and shoot past the Mariner like the crossbow with which he shot the Albatross.
  • Stanzas 35-40
  • They have spent a long time drifting on the ocean with no wind or water, and everyone is sick of it. Then one day, the Mariner sees something coming from the west; as in, the opposite direction as the Mariner's sweet home England.
  • He can't decide whether the thing is a small "speck" or a more spread-out "mist." The shape starts to come into focus and he became aware ("wist") of what looked like. It moves around in zigzag fashion as if escaping supernatural forces. Hey, join the club.
  • The speaker finally realizes what it is, and he wants to shout, but his mouth is too dry. His lips are sunburned and caked with dried blood. When you're as talkative as the Mariner, you know its trouble when you're so dehydrated that you can't speak.
  • Fortunately, he has a solution that would make the guy from the Survivor Man TV show proud. He bites his arm to wet his lips with his own blood, just enough so that he can shout
  • He shouts that he sees a sail.
  • His crewmates are so happy that they shout "gramercy!" meaning, "Thank heavens!"
  • The ship is coming their way. Maybe their crew will have water.
  • Stanzas 41-45
  • The sun is setting in the west, and the ship is approaching from the west. Here Coleridge provides a complicated image to illustrate how the ship is really – get ready for it – a Ghost Ship!
  • Here's the image: the mysterious ship sails in front of the setting sun, and rather than blocking out part of the sun completely, it just looks like the sun has bars in front of it. In other words, the ship looks like a skeleton.
  • The ship's sails aren't normal sails – you know, the kind that can hold wind. Instead, they look like tattered spider webs, or "gossamers." Its hull looks like ribs. Worst of all, he can now see that the crew consists of only two people: Death and Life-in-Death.
  • Well, shoot.
  • We imagine death as the hooded guy with the sickle, or something like that, while Life-in-Death is a woman who appears relatively normal except for her pale, diseased-looking skin.
  • "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Part III Summary." Shmoop: Study Guides & Teacher Resources. Web. 08 Feb. 2011. .

Diction …

  • The language used by this poet is formal, concrete, vivid, and obsolete.
  • It creates vivid expressions and innovative ideas
  • The etymology of words, such as wist and unslaked, are important to the meaning of the poem.

Tone && Mood …

  • The atmosphere created by Coleridge is very serious and suspenseful. He speaks with a very strong tone. It’s somewhat spine chilling and creepy, yet at the same time he makes sure to be very straight forward.
  • There is no irony.

What is the rhetorical situation implied by the poem ?

  • The Mariner is speaking to the rest of the crew members. They’ve been drifting on the ocean and finally the speaker notices another ship but fails to realize it’s a Ghost Ship of Life-In-Death. Suddenly everyone begins to die and their souls escape their bodies.
  • The reader is being spoken to directly; not overhearing the speaker or being ignored by it.

Figurative Language …

  • Similes- ”And every soul, it passed me by, Like the whizz of my CROSS-BOW!” ; “Her locks were yellow as gold” ; “Her skin was as white as leprosy” ; “Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, Like restless gossameres”
  • Metaphor- “her looks were free”
  • Personification- “It plunged and tacked and veered.” (a speck) “Are those her ribs through which the Sun Did peer, as through a grate? And is that Woman all her crew? Is that a DEATH? and are there two? Is DEATH that woman's mate? Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as leprosy, The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold. The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; "The game is done! I've won! I've won!“ Quoth she, and whistles thrice. The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark; With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea. Off shot the spectre-bark. We listened and looked sideways up! Fear at my heart, as at a cup, My life-blood seemed to sip! The stars were dim, and thick the night, The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white; From the sails the dew did drip-- Till clombe above the eastern bar The horned Moon, with one bright star Within the nether tip. One after one, by the star-dogged Moon Too quick for groan or sigh, Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye. Four times fifty living men, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan) With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropped down one by one. The souls did from their bodies fly,-- They fled to bliss or woe! And every soul, it passed me by, Like the whizz of my CROSS-BOW!”

Imagery …

  • He describes the ship when he talks about it appearing as a little speck.
  • He broadly describes the atmosphere around him.
  • “Life-In-Death”; Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold, Her skin was as white as leprosy...”
  • Symbolism- ship coming at them describes the death approaching
    • Their souls escaping their bodies and shooting past the Mariner symbolizes the way in which the crossbow shot the Albatross.

Sound ….

  • Rhyme scheme- ABCB
  • Repetition- he repeats some words
    • Ex. “See! See!”, “A sail! A sail!”, “I’ve won! I’ve won!” etc.
    • Alliteration
    • -ex. The western wave was all a-flame
    • There isn’t any cacophony or euphony sounds really because he doesn’t use any harsh or pleasing sounds.

Poem Structure …

  • It’s standard formed
  • It consists of many stanzas
  • Formal structure
  • Rhyme pattern- ABCB

Evaluation

  • Coleridge did a good job with getting his point across. He was straightforward with everything, which played a role in the creating the mood so you wouldn’t have to be very skeptical. His strongest elements will have to be the way he worded the poem and it was well thought out. Overall he did a good job with the process of writing the poem.

Personal Reaction ….

  • We didn’t really enjoy the poem because it seemed pointless. It was heavily worded with difficult words and hard to understand. In no way, shape, or form did it relate to us, but more power to Coleridge :)
  • THE END .


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