Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Part IV

Rime of the Ancient
Mariner: Part IV
Andrew Perricone • Imogen Rosenbluth
Kalev Rudolph • Alyssa Stump
Stanzas 1 & 2
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.' "Fear not, fear not, thou WeddingGuest!
This body dropped not down.
IRONY despite the fact that the Mariner
has long been removed from his frightful
experiences at sea, his appearance still
reflects the hardships he went through
long ago. "skinny, long, lank,brown"
SIMILE appears when the wedding guest
compares the Mariner to the 'ribbed sea
sand' implying that the Mariner is part of
the sea as the sea is part of him.
ALLITERATION is used to emphasize the
characteristics of the Mariner that never
changed and will not be able to change in
the future.
MOOD fear is recurring and implies an air
of vulnerability and/or anxiety that comes
from the Wedding-Guest which
JUXTAPOSES the MOTIF that emerges
from the Mariner that he is unable to falter
and does not give up.
REPETITION of the Mariner's dark hand,
which emphasizes that the origin of who he
is comes from the sea, and the reason he
has the mindset that he does, physically
and metaphorically 'body dropped not
down' considering his age. DEVIATION
from the original structure is meant to
emphasize the Motif.
Stanzas 3 & 4
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I
REPETITION emphasis on his
solidarity, as well as the
JUXTAPOSITION between his small
self and the vast sea despite the
forgiving nature of a saint there is no
mercy for a man in his state
He is one with the 'slimy things' and
there is an implication the slimy
things are small, as he is in
comparison to the vast sea alluded to
previously. There may be 'many
many men' but not as many as there
are 'slimy things' considering there
are thousands and thousands. The
dead men are so 'beautiful' as he
looks upon them, creating the gothic
mood that such a violent death is
cushioned by his perspective of
Stanzas 5 & 6
I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
(Gloss: And envieth that they
should live, and so many lie
I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.
Repetition of "rotting" shows the
hopelessness and death
surrounding the Mariner, within
nature as well as the crew
Gloss refers to previous in 1-4,
illustrating the Mariner's
continued resentment of nature
and value of human life
The mariner's inability to pray
shows a godly power held by death
and nature, he is "hellish" separate
from heaven
Repetition of the W gives the
stanza a feeling of ghostly mystery
and the D rhythmically punctuates
the stanza
The Mariner has been cut off from
god, left truly alone with the
bodies of the dead crew
Stanza 7 & 8
I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and
the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.
(Gloss: But the curse liveth for
him in the eye of the dead men)
Repetition gives a feeling of
determination and fear
A pounding headache is
Inversion emphasizes how heavy
the struggle of the Mariner is
There is a great exhaustion, and
an inability to fall asleep with the
dead around him
The dead are trapped in a stasis,
similar to the Mariner
The rhythmic repetition of "nor
..." adds to the eerie and mystical
The repetition of look and and
the W sound emphasize the
"curse...in the eye" and deathly
stare of the dead (from prior
Stanzas 9 & 10
An orphan’s curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside—
(Gloss: In his loneliness and
fixedness he yearneth towards the
journeying Moon, and the stars that
still sojourn, yet still move onward;
and everywhere the blue sky belongs
to them, and is their appointed rest,
and their native country and their
own natural homes, which they enter
unannounced, as lords that are
certainly expected and yet there is a
silent joy at their arrival.)
Stanza length change – highlights his
despair in living and simulates the
length of his torture.
Important to note that he experiences
this “Life-In-Death” for seven days and
nights – later he remarks that he is
“like one that hath been seven days
Moon is capitalized, personified like
the Sun earlier.
Plenty in the gloss that is not in the
poem itself. Coleridge describes the
moon and stars as powerful lords of the
The moon is free to move where it
wishes, but the mariner is stuck on the
cursed ship.
Stanzas 11 & 12
Her beams bemocked the sultry main
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship’s huge shadow lay,
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.
Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.
(Gloss: By the light of the Moon he
beholdeth God’s creatures of the
great calm.)
Warring imagery—the moon spreads
frosty colors across the ship, but the
water burns red in its shadow. While
the moon might calm the curse
momentarily, it still lies beneath.
Stanza length change
Stanza length change
The snakes are “beyond the shadow
of the ship” and therefore associated
with cold rather than heat (“hoary
Stanza 13
Within the shadow of the ship A
I watched their rich attire: B
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, C
They coiled and swam; and every track C
Was a flash of golden fire B
( Gloss: By the light of the Moon he
beholdeth God’s creatures of the
great calm)
The Ancient Mariner continues to admire the
shiny, slippery sea creatures he sees from the
ship in the moonlight.
REPETITION of "shadow of the ship" at
beginning of stanzas 12 and 13 emphasizes
setting and the ominous nature of the ship
RHYME SCHEME changes from the
traditional ABCB quatrain form to an ABCCB
pattern with five lines per stanza
IMAGERY present in description of "watersnakes" and they way they glint in the
moonlight ( "Blue, glossy green, and velvet
black," "coiled and swam," etc.)
TONE is pensive, reflective, melancholy
Revisits the JUXTAPOSITION of light and
dark with ship's shadow and the sea creatures'
"flash of golden fire"
Water-snakes could symbolize the natural
beauty that the Mariner disrupts, "all of God's
creatures" living on unaffected by his crime
Stanzas 14 & 15
Oh happy living things! No tongue A
Their beauty might declare: B
A spring of love gushed from my heart, C
And I blessed them unaware: B
(Gloss: Their beauty and their
Sure my kind saint took pity on me, D
And I blessed them unaware. B
(Gloss: He blesseth them in his
The self-same moment I could pray; A
And from my neck so free B
The Albatross fell off, and sank C
Like lead into the sea. B
(Gloss: The spell begins to
The Ancient Mariner blesses the sea creatures
he observes, hailing their beauty.
Simultaneously (or perhaps as a result), he
regains his ability to pray and the Albatross
falls from his neck, a weight lifted ("The spell
begins to break").
Why "unaware?" Subconsciously?
REPETITION of "And I blessed them
unaware" in fourth and sixth line of the first
RHYME SCHEME changes again! Fourteenth
stanza is ABCBDB (total six lines) and then
returns to quatrain form in the fifteenth
METAPHOR in "a spring of love gushed from
my heart"
SIMILE in line 4 of Stanza 16--"like lead"
SYMBOLISM of Albatross as reminder of
guilt, "marks" the Mariner as a sinner (like
Cain)--when it falls, a weight is lifted from the
Mariner, both literally and figuratively.
ALLUSION to patron saint
Relationship to Poem
In Part 4, the Ancient Mariner must cope with his intense loneliness and
guilt in the aftermath of his crew's mysterious massacre. Ashamed and
revolted of himself, he equates himself to the "slimy things" that lurk in
the ocean. The Ancient Mariner also discovers that he has lost his ability
to pray and perhaps his faith as well. For the first time, the reader sees
how deeply he is affected by his deed, and what a punishment it is for
him to remain alive surrounded by the peers he inadvertently murdered.
However, as time passes, he is forced to reflect upon what he has done,
and begins to come to terms with the horrific things he has seen and
done. He regains the respect and appreciation he once had for the
natural world as well as his faith. Part 4 has a dismal beginning, but
leaves the reader hopeful.
This part transitions the reader from the hopeless aftermath of
the spectral massacre to the beginning of the Mariner's
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