18 March 2011
Allusions to Christianity in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner
In many works of literature religion is recognized as a superior power that guides and influences the actions and events that are presented by the author. Samuel Taylor Coleridge is known for his exposure of his religious views through his literature. With the majority of his poems and stories relating to prayer to a higher force, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a poem where he solely places the flow and direction of the work on religion. Events in this poem relate to religion in many aspects. The killing of the Albatross and the mariner bearing it as a burden is similar to Jesus’s resurrection and the cross. The Mariner’s quest for redemption also relates to his religious views in many aspects. Similarly, the inability to pray while the mariner is stranded on the liner is a distinct connection to the morals of religion. Allusions to Christianity play an essential role in the symbolism of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
The presence of the Albatross in the Mariner’s rime contributes many ideas as well as aspects of Christianity. Throughout the play the Mariner takes responsibility of the death as well as the hardships that follow. In the poem the corpse of the Albatross that is hung around the Mariner’s neck like a crucifix directly relates to Jesus and the bearing of the cross. Also, the word “cross” in “cross-bow”, the weapon by which the Albatross is slain, indicates a relationship with Christianity. Likewise, many Christians bear the cross on their neck as a sign of admiration and respect for the resurrection of Christ. The murder of the Albatross establishes the calamities and misfortune of the crew that occur during their voyage. White touches upon the Albatross’s role as a catalyst when he recognizes the mariner’s claim, “The disaster at sea occurred after I shot the albatross, therefore the disaster occurred because I shot...