The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Characters & Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
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There are several subthemes in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," relating to Christianity and the supernatural, and two primary themes. The first primary theme concerns the potential consequences of a single unthinking act.

When the mariner shoots an albatross, he does it casually and without animosity. Yet this impulsive, destructive act is his undoing. Similar to other Romantics, Coleridge believed that the seeds of destruction and creation are contained each within the other. One cannot create something without destroying something else. Likewise, destruction leads to the creation of something new. The loss of the mariner's ship, shipmates, and his own former self ultimately leads to the regeneration of the mariner.

This process of destruction and regeneration introduces the poem's second main theme. The mariner gradually comes to realize the enormous consequences of his casual act, even as he struggles to accept responsibility for it.

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This section contains 480 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Study Guide
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