The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Summary: A Synopsis
This is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that consists of seven sections. It was published in 1798. The poem starts with the introduction of the Ancient Mariner who stops a guest to a wedding and tells him a story about a ship. The guest is reluctant to hear it, but the Mariner continues with his tale.
It starts with the ship leaving for south. The sheep is met with a violent storm that blows it further south. Here the crew experience too much cold, mist, and snow. An Albatross visits the crew, and this is normally considered a positive omen. The ice breaks and the wind blows and propels the ship. The Albatross appears to the sailors each morning after the sailors call it and move behind their ship. The mariner shoots down the albatross and kills it, and the sailors weep in sorrow. This becomes the source of a curse to the ship. The wind stops blowing, and the ship stops. The crew members become thirsty, and some of them even believe and dream about an angry spirit following them. The crew takes the albatross and hangs it around the neck of the mariner.
The mariner and his crew become thirsty to the point that he decides to bite into his arm and drink some blood. A ghost ship passes, which is the symbol of a bad omen and foreshadows the death of all the crew members aboard, except our narrator. The narrator is left alone and cursed the gaze of the dead sailors around him.
He undergoes a moment of reflection where he accepts that all God’s creatures as beautiful and should be respected. He prays, and the albatross falls from his neck into the water. The mariner is rescued and realizes that his penance will be to share his story with the world.