Biblical Symbolism in "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

1003 words 5 pages
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," written in 1797, has been widely discussed throughout literary history. Although critics have come up with many different interpretations of this poem, one idea that has remained prevalent throughout these discussions is the apparent religious symbolism present throughout this poem. "The Ancient Mariner" contains natural, gothic, and biblical symbolism; however, the religious and natural symbolism, which coincide with one another, play the most important roles in this poem (Piper 43). It is apocalyptic and natural symbolism that dominates the core of this poem (43).

The biblical symbolism found in this poem mainly reflects the apocalypse, as it deals with the Mariner's
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It is a known fact that Coleridge's thoughts and feelings where rarely affected by his beliefs, especially the apocalypse. The apocalyptic story deals with God's freeing the soul of man from the pains of sin and death, and lifting it into paradise. After the Mariner kills the albatross, he feels as if he is under some sort of curse. However, the Mariner goes through as conversion, which thus releases his soul from the pains of sin and death so that he can once again obtain happiness.

There are two essential steps in the conversion process. The first step occurs when imaginative powers mythological appearances of nature so that the slightest willful act appears to bring down a terrible vengeance. The willful act that the Mariner partakes in is the killing of the Albatross, and the terrible vengeance that occurs because as a result of this action is the cures that is cast over the ship. The second part of this conversion process takes place at the greatest moment of hopelessness. At this point, the presence of divine love within humankind appears and emphasizes the appearance of the natural world. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is not a direct religious sermon, but there are many strong references to the Christian religion throughout the poem, which stem from Coleridge's own religious beliefs. Although Coleridge did not take the religious