The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the Hermit instruct the Mariner to teach others?

2. What do the sailors see in the polar region?

3. What color is the ice?

4. What adjective describes the eye of the Mariner?

5. Why are the sailors being becalmed?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is meant by "Life-in-Death begins her work on the Mariner?" What is her work?

2. For what reasons are there differences between the text of the poem and the text of the notes, such as Life-in-Death only being referenced as the "Spectre-Woman" in the notes?

3. What seems to be significant about the Guest's compulsion to listen to the Mariner's story?

4. Why is the human mind "always circled around a knowledge of these things" but never attains such knowledge?

5. The Mariner has a look of intense regret on his face towards the end of Part I. Why does the Mariner look so, and why is it important?

6. What does it mean to be "vigilant for truth" and to "maintain proportion?"

7. Briefly explain what you take to be the significance of the Mariner shooting the Albatross with a crossbow.

8. What is difficult about believing in invisible Natures, according to Thomas Burnet and Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

9. What does Thomas Burnet mean by saying "it is sometimes beneficial to contemplate, in thought, as in a picture, the image of a greater and better world"?

10. What is meant, in the third part, by, "at a dear ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds of thirst"? Why is this important?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Personification of inanimate objects is a device used consistently throughout the poem. Explain the significance of the major personifications in the poem (the Sun, the Moon, Death, the Ocean). How does personifying these elements impact the story and the main theme of the story (visible and invisible Natures)?

Essay Topic 2

Analyze the character of the Hermit. What role does he play? How is he unique from the other characters in the story? What aspects of human nature does he signify? Does he have any importance beyond the natural world?

Essay Topic 3

Present a coherent analysis of the character of Wedding-Guest. Important things to consider include:

1) His unwillingness to listen but compulsion to do so;

2) His fearful interruptions;

3) His actions at the end of the story (not attending the wedding);

4) Waking up the following morning "sadder and wiser."

(see the answer keys)

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