The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, has been interpreted and addressed considerably over the years. One of the main theories is that this poem is a Christian reading, that is, it has been written with religious symbolism scattered throughout.


The main theme throughout the poem is that through all the sin and evil, good can still squeeze through. The mariner brings through this theme. We the audience, follow as he falls from good into sin and from one extreme to another, he forms a complete love for God.


The ship in the poem is used to symbolize man. Just like humans, the ship too had to experience highs and lows. Like the human body, it too, transports the spirit throughout its journey until it reaches its final resting place.


Countless people believe that the albatross in the poem is used to represent Christ in that Christ is seen as mans only opportunity to get to heaven, however, many people choose to ignore and even maltreat him.


The description of the South Pole found in the poem, raises questions as to whether this particular location represents hell. The descriptions Coleridge uses to explain what the mariner is going through, is very much like a description of hell. While at the South Pole horrible slimy things in the water surround the mariner, he is unable to sleep and when he closes his eyes to get away from the corpses looking at him, his eyes throb. There is no escape for the mariner, much like there is no escape from hell. Another location found within the poem is England; it is represents heaven in that it was a oasis for the Mariner. When the Mariner first saw the land after the whole ordeal, he was overwhelmed with happiness. Another important feature was the fact that the ship sank before the mariner was able to enter England (or “heaven.”) Much like a human body, before it is able to enter heaven.