The Ancient Mariner and Romanticism
Romanticism defines the period from 1780 to 1830. It is a reaction against the society’s growing materialism and the ideals of Enlightenment. The English romantic writers are critical towards materialism and industrialization and therefore they seek peace in nature. There is a big focus on spirituality, and nature plays a big part in the literature as well as love and emotions. The protagonist, like The Ancient Mariner, is often someone who has committed a crime, experienced something out of the ordinary and a traveler. Samuel Taylor Coleridge belongs to an older generation of Romantic poets with his most famous work being “The Ancient Mariner”. The poem is about The Ancient Mariner who is at a wedding, where he stops one of the wedding guests. He insists on telling him his story and the wedding guest cannot but listen attentively. The Ancient Mariner then tells him about the ship, which was driven by a storm towards the South Pole. There was nothing but ice, until an albatross flew by which the Ancient Mariner shoots. By doing that he has angered the Spirit, who loved the albatross. All of the crew blames him and they hang the dead albatross around his neck. As punishment for his action, all the crew dies, only the Ancient Mariner stays alive, living on with guilt and horror. He later gets saved, but he cannot die until he has told everyone about his crime. He spends the rest of his life wandering around the world telling the story, and the wedding guest is one of them.
The poem consists of 142 stanzas and is being told from the Ancient Mariner’s point of view. There are many romantic elements in the poem. There are supernatural things like the dead crew who sail the ship (stanza 76), the Specter woman and her Death mate (stanza 44) and angels (stanza 110,111,112). The Ancient Mariner is also a traveler and he has committed a crime.
His hands are skinny and he has “glittering eyes” as told in stanza 1 and 3. By...