The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Questions and Answers
- How is the Wind presented in the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. The Wind is extremely important to the Mariner, or any sailors for that matter. Without the wind, his crew was stuck “as idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean.” They need the wind to sail, that’s the bottom line for its importance.
- Discuss the symbolism of the albatross.
Ans. The symbolism of the albatross can be interpreted in many ways. It lived as a part of God’s natural world and had served as a loyal guide and good omen for the sailors. The ship’s crew had “hailed it in God’s name,” according to the old mariner,
“[a]s if it had been a Christian soul.”
- How are the themes of crime, punishment, and redemption developed in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?
Ans. The mariner’s crime is that he killed the albatross, for no other reason than that he could and chose to exercise his selfish will. Although the mariner’s crew at first condemns him for killing the bird, they soon approve of his actions, and the mariner’s punishment for slaying the albatross falls then not only on himself, but on them, as well. The mariner’s redemption occurs only when his heart changes.
- Discuss the title of the poem.
Ans. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the title’s spelling of “Rhyme” as “Rime” gives the poem a faraway and ancient feel- just as the language and syntax in the poem does. This helps add to the mystery and supernatural qualities of the narrator, the Mariner himself, who “traps” his listeners in an unbreakable trance.
- What is the significance of the hermit and the spirits in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?
Ans. The spirits and the hermit represent the connectedness to God. The spirits are the voices of beings unseen who discuss his crimes and the punishment of the Mariner.
- In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, what effect is created by the poet’s use of the present tense?
Ans. The theme of Coleridge’s poem deals with how we should treat nature with respect. In order for the mariner to go from port to port telling his story to one man each time, he has to • make it credible and meaningful. By telling it in the present tense, the “wedding guest” is able to connect with the mariner and learn from his tale.
- Why can the Mariner sleep?
Ans. At the start of Part V, the Mariner says “Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing”. He is finally able to sleep a restful, peaceful sleep.
- What does Mariner think about sea creature in Part IV?
Ans. In Part IV, the Mariner stopped seeing the sea creatures as “slimy things” and begins to see them for their beauty, remarking on their colors and calling them “happy living things”.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” why did Coleridge use the archaic spelling of “rhyme” in his title? What effect does this have?
Ans. The word “rime” is archaic and brings to Coleridge’s work the connotation of age and distance–olden times. This connotation is then emphasized by the choice of the word “ancient” itself combined with “mariner,” another word associated with older times. The result of Coleridge’s careful diction is to present “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” as an old, old tale (the stuff of myth and legend) rather than a modern story.
- In Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” what is the effect that the character of the mariner produces as the central frame of the poem?
Ans. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” has a great deal to do with the character of the mariner. It was the mariner’s character that led him to kill the albatross for no reason. He was a man who did not appreciate nature. He has been unable to pray since he killed the albatross and his crewmates flung around the mariner’s neck.
- In Act IV, what is the reaction of Mariner’s pray?
Ans. As soon as he is able to pray, in the last stanza of Part w the albatross falls from his neck and he sees beauty in all the nature around him.
- Which thing changes the character of Mariner?
Ans. It is this realization that nature is beautiful and that all living things deserve respect that changes the mariner’s character.
- Give an example of personification in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
Ans. There is lots of Personification throughout. Most of it has to do with the sun. The sun takes on human qualities and develops a pronoun of “he.”
“The sun came up upon the left, Out of the see came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right Went down into the see.”
- Give an example of paradox imagery in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. An example of a paradox could be when they are surrounded with water, yet cannot drink a drop. They are dying of thirst, yet cannot drink the salt water.
“Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
- What narrative techniques are used in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. Several narrative techniques are employed. First, the poem is a frame tale. Second the mariner’s telling the story is structured as a dramatic monologue.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” where is the spell of the albatross broken?
Ans. After tremendous suffering, the mariner, alone one night in the moonlight, watches water snakes moving in “tracks of shining white.” He notices their beautiful colors. At this moment, the mariner’s ignorance and selfishness drops away as he opens his heart to the glories of God’s creation. It is at this moment of spiritual awakening that the spell of the albatross is broken.
- What occurrence illustrates the breaking of the spell?
Ans. Once the spell is broken, the albatross falls from the mariner’s neck and drops into the ocean. The mariner sleeps peacefully.
- What is the plot in the part 1 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. In part 1 the mariner picks out one wedding guest who is compelled by the mariner’s “glittering eye” and listens to his tale. The mariner tells of his sea voyage and an Albatross. The men saw it as a good omen; however, the mariner shot the bird with his crossbow.
- What is the plot in the second part of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. In part 2 they turn the ship around and head back north. The ship stops, the wind stops, and they are stuck with no water. The men hang the dead Albatross around the mariner’s neck.
- Discuss the plot in the part 3 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
Ans. In part 3 a ghost ship appears with Death and Life in Death aboard. They gamble for the lives of the men. Death wins all of the sailors and Life in Death wins the Mariner. So all the men drop dead aboard the mariner’s ship.
- Explain the plot in the part 4 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
Ans. In part 4 he was stuck with all the dead men staring at him. He even tried to pray but was unable to. He himself could not die, although he wanted to. Then he blessed some sea snakes and was able to pray again.
- What happens in the part 5 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. In part 5 he is finally able to sleep. It rains and the wind blows. The dead men on his ship rise and begin working and running the ship while singing, too. Then the ship stops and rocks and throws him to the ground. Voices speak about how he’s paid his penance, but has more to pay.
- What is the story of part 6 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. In part 6 the spell breaks. The men again go lifeless and each has an angel about him. He hears a boat nearing with a Pilot, his son and a Hermit.
- Describe the story in part 7 of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
Ans. In part 7 his boat sinks, he jumps aboard the Hermit’s boat and begs forgiveness. He then goes from place to place telling those who need it to respect all of nature.
- What is the effect of the framing device used by Coleridge in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. The Frame Story used by Coleridge in this poem is that of a wedding and a guest at the wedding being detained by the supernatural force of the Mariner who must tell his story. The effect is to create a more ancient feel, a mysterious mood and atmosphere, giving some truth to the tale.
- Why is iceberg green in the line “As green as emerald” in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. The colour green is associated with nature and this may be Coleridge’s signal that the men feel nature is back to normal. The color green supposedly would have been caused when seawater froze and became ice.
- What is the meaning of “Yea, slimy things……. slimy sea” in “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” part II?
Ans. This quotation is found in Part two of the poem and refers to some sort of sea creatures that have become prominent/visible in the sea. The supernatural nature of the Mariner’s experience is illustrated in this part also indicating that there seems to be no “Beautiful” creatures in the sea. Thus lies the challenge for the Mariner: to find beauty amidst the “rot.”
- Critically evaluate the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.
Ans. It is a poem spoken by a Mariner about his sea voyage. The listener is a wedding guest who has been stopped by the Mariner. A number of critics consider the poem as a Christian allegory whereas some read the poem as Coleridge’s personal biography.
- There are 3 speakers: the mariner, the marginal gloss, and Coleridge. What are each of their purposes and understanding in the poem?
Ans. First is the mariner, who is fated to tell his story for the rest of his days to the people who “need it.” Second, there is the narrator, not necessarily the poet himself. We cannot assume that Coleridge is the narrator. Lastly is the marginal gloss, which is full of definitions and explanations and notes.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, who is the person who said, “Ah, wretch!…the bird to slay, that made the breeze to blow!”? .
Ans. The crew on the ship on which the Mariner rode said • this to the Mariner. These words are the 13th and 14th lines of Part II.
- Who said, “The ship was cheered, the harbor cleared, merrily did we drop below the kirk, below the hill, below the lighthouse top”?
Ans. The Mariner spoke these words. He said them to the wedding guest that he has stopped in Part I of the poem. He is letting the listener know that the voyage had started out with the usual lightness and happiness.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” who says: “By thy long gray beard…” and “The game is done! I’ve won!”?
Ans. “By thy long gray beard and glittering eye” is said to the Ancient Mariner by one of the three gallants who were going to a wedding feast. The Ancient Mariner then proceeds to tell the wedding guest his tale.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” who says: “The game is done! I’ve won!”?
Ans. “The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!” is said by Life-in-Death, who has been in a dice game with Death for the Ancient Mariner.
- Why hasn’t the curse died away in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. The very nature of the curse is that the Mariner must retell his story time and again so that others faced with a situation like his, will choose differently. By the end of the story, the curse is more of a mission.
- In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, what does it mean that he blessed the snakes “unawares”?
Ans. When the poet says that the Mariner blessed the snakes “unawares”, he is indicating that the Mariner blessed the snakes “in his heart”.
- Why does the mariner compare himself to the snakes in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. The water snakes he describes are free and are moving with beauty and grace which the Mariner himself now can do since he has come to his new realization after the falling of bird from his neck.
- Why did the author use that particular spelling of rime?
Ans. Rime is an archaic (old, outdated) spelling of rhyme (“Poem”). When first published in Lyrical Ballads in 1798, the Poem’s original title was Rime of the Ancyent Marinere. Coleridge used many archaic words and spellings throughout the poem, including rime.
- What meaning does the title have?
Ans. Some scholars believe that rime is also a play on the word’s other meaning: “frost.” They believe that the poem is based, in part, on the second voyage of British explorer James Cook, who ventured into the Arctic Circle in the 1770s.
- What are the characteristics of the high romantic?
Ans. A delight in the past/the Gothic/the medieval Orientalism/interest in the exotic, Primitivism, Anti-intellectualism, Sentimentalism/enjoying emotion for its own sake Humanitarianism, Democracy/hostility to monarchial authority, Originality/diversity, Belief in the purgative purpose of art (for the artist), Love of nature, especially the wild and picturesque, Glorification of the commonplace.
- “The Ancient Mariner is a story told in picture”; elucidate.
Ans. The imagery is abundant and the use of colour is throughout the poem. One example is in Part II, lines 111-114 with the description of a “hot and copper sky” and a “bloody sun”, another example is in Part III, lines 190-194 with the description of Life-In-Death and her red lips, yellow locks, and white skin.
- Why does the Mariner kill the albatross?
Ans. The Mariner kills the albatross because he associated the lack of wind with it.
- Discuss four characteristics of the romantic period evidenced in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem called “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
Ans. Evidence of nature, self-reflection, atonement and repentance, and salvation.
- What makes the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” obviously from the Romantic Period? Give examples to support.
Ans. Rime is from the Romantic Era because of the aspects which define romantic literature. These include the supernatural, the love of nature, the individual instead of the good of society as a whole, emotion vs. reason, and imagination vs. logic.
- Is there supernatural elements in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?
Ans. In Rime, supernatural occurs several times. First the mariner “holds” the wedding guest in a sort of trance for the telling of the story. Also, the ghost ship appears without wind or current, the ship is sailed by angel-possessed bodies of the crew.
- In the Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, what penance does the mariner still have to do?
Ans. The mariner must travel from land to land and teach others, by using his own story as an example, to love and respect everything God has made.
- What impact was on the wedding guest of mariner’s tale?
Ans. The mariner leaves a great impact on the wedding guest with his story. He’s successful because when the wedding guest wakes the next morning, he’s wiser as well as sadder for having heard the mariner’s story.
- What lesson does the Mariner learn from his experiences?
Ans. The mariner does learn the consequences of his unthinking action (killing the albatross) through the death of his fellow shipmates.
- Why is the albatross hung from the mariner’s neck and what does it replace?
Ans. The albatross is hung around the Mariner’s neck because when he kills it, the crew of his ship blames him for the bad luck they suffer afterwards. The albatross is compared to wearing a cross around his neck. It doesn’t drop from his neck until he gains the favor of God and is able to pray.
- How does “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” exemplify the characteristics of the Romantic Period?
Ans. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” exemplifies the Romantic period through the following:
- It created exotic and imaginary alternatives to known society.
- It emphasized the power of poetry (the Mariner telling the story).
- It accented the power of the image (the albatross!)
- It accented the importance of emotion, and of individual action.
- It happened in a symbolic dreamscape, one full of meaning.
- It incorporates Gothic/horror elements, another period development.
- It uses relatively ordinary speech, a conscious choice on the part of the Romantic poets.
50. Is the Mariner an active participant in his fate?
Ans. The Mariners impulsive and destructive act in the start of the text is his undoing. The Mariner will discover the consequences of his actions. The simple action of the plot, initiated by the mariner’s unthinking, destructive act, leads to his tribulations and consequent process of becoming mature.
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