What did I do?
Finished Reading The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1934)
In class we discussed the plot, proceeding through the poem in an objective manner and jotting down summary notes of the significant characters, events and meanings within the story. We also discussed the significant techniques used, such as chiasmus, anaphora, etc.
I feel as though in sections of the poem such as the albatross being hung around the mariner’s neck, the wind around the mariner alone and the relief felt by telling his story to all, that Coleridge is expression his personal relationship with God and his faith. Although he was only a vicar to fill his need for a job, he did grow up immersed in religious company. As Romanticism did draw development in the individual’s relationship with God as more personal than times before, this poem may certainly be an analogy for Coleridge’s own walk with God, or his own faith in general. Assuming that the albatross is his faith, the poem could be interpreted as follows: The ship sails fair until reaching the equator (a decision must be made). The ship encounters a storm (hard times in life) and then a state of immobility (feeling stuck in life). Sighting of the albatross and men find themselves on course once more (hope, and growth in faith as help comes). Crew likes the albatross yet Mariner kills it (Crew possibly the church or an assembly of believers, the mariner doesn’t follow – Coleridge). The ship continues like before but the mariner feels odd about his action (life continues without faith, yet his conscience is not at ease). The crew warmed to the mariner once more (the appearance of a ‘free man’ alluring others). And that is only Part I, before the spiritual visits – which may also be parallel to Coleridge’s life. As the majority of Coleridge’s poetry was personal expression, and because of the parallel’s to his life, I feel as though this poem may be interpreted in this way.
Compiled Articles on the context and content of texts
Changed Related text, multiple times…
I have been on a little whirlwind of poetry. After Finally determining that Wuthering Heights was a poor choice to compare to Coleridge, I looked at The Lady of Shalott, an 1832 poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Only after analysing and finding ways to relate it to Coleridge’s work did I realise that it was part of Tennyson’s Selected Poems, a prescribed text for a module of Advanced English. I then searched for another text, using a list of Romantic authors and eventually found the poetry of Mary Robinson, who is not on the prescribed text list and who a sort of feminist Romanticist. Her poetry addressed societal practices, natures and the industrial environment. In a way her poetry is dehumanising industrialisation and and placing emphasis on oneself and on expression, for expression sake. I have selected her poem January, 1795 which describes life at that time in a manner addressed above. It particularly relates to the poem Frost at Midnight, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Image: my own