The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Mar 22, 2006 at 1:11 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Oistrakh

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DON'T READ THIS THREAD IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE POEM









Has anyone read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner? I need help with understanding the book...

Does anyone understand the point of the spirits that enter the dead sailor's bodies and the dead bodies start doing their regular tasks? I missed the class where we talked about this. I just don't know the point of why colerige put the spirits into the story in the first place. What is it supposed to represent? I've searched a lot of web sites and none offer an analysis of the spirits...
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 7:36 AM Post #4 of 17

Uncle Erik

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Oh man. It's been a few years since I graduated, but my first degree was a B.A. in English Lit.

If I recall, the Old Standby - religious analogy - works great here.

The Ancient Mariner is a Christ figure, and the part about the albatross being hung about his neck is symbolic of the crucifixion.

And, of course, the spirits entering the dead bodies and reanimating them is the resurrection.

You can take it from there. If you're writing a paper, throw in some scripture to make your points.

Another good standby is Freudian analysis, or trying to tie whatever it is you're reading to sex. I'm not going to get into that here. And you can always go postmodern, which would be using the text to discover what it says about Coleridge the man, his socioeconomic status and the era in which he wrote it.

If you're into this stuff, read the Bible, read some Freud and read some works on postmodernism. Mull them over, find parallel themes, and run with it. When you begin to see all the possibilities there are, you'll understand.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:46 AM Post #5 of 17

Oistrakh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
Oh man. It's been a few years since I graduated, but my first degree was a B.A. in English Lit.

If I recall, the Old Standby - religious analogy - works great here.

The Ancient Mariner is a Christ figure, and the part about the albatross being hung about his neck is symbolic of the crucifixion.

And, of course, the spirits entering the dead bodies and reanimating them is the resurrection.

You can take it from there. If you're writing a paper, throw in some scripture to make your points.

Another good standby is Freudian analysis, or trying to tie whatever it is you're reading to sex. I'm not going to get into that here. And you can always go postmodern, which would be using the text to discover what it says about Coleridge the man, his socioeconomic status and the era in which he wrote it.

If you're into this stuff, read the Bible, read some Freud and read some works on postmodernism. Mull them over, find parallel themes, and run with it. When you begin to see all the possibilities there are, you'll understand.



thanks, but how does the spirits play a role in the mariner's redemption?
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 6:29 AM Post #8 of 17

sleepkyng

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dvallere
Whoo...all I remember from my lit days is that Coleridge was high on opium when he wrote it. After I learned that, I never paid too much attention to symbolism in it!!


hahaha, so speaks the Pogo lover!
wink.gif


Keep trying at the poem - remember the Albatross and how it was killed. Read carefully when the dead men are reanimated, and also how and when they are rendered lifeless again.

fantastic poem - love it, but my favorite has to be Kubla Kahn


and don't use postmodern analysis or anything like that - Post modernism wasn't around when Colridge wrote... so he wasn't thinking those things (whatever they may be) nor was Freud around. No one takes a Raphael painting and tries to "deconstruct it to its essence" and those that do are damn fools. Paintings, Poetry and most art before Postmodernism (which is to say most everything before Kafka - rash generalization, i know) cannot be treated like cars or like headphone equipment.

Take the poem for what it is, try see what he is trying to do - there's a reason this poem is so popular, the narrative style, the light hearted and playful side notes, the structure of the story etc.
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 6:30 AM Post #9 of 17

Naga

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i remember planning a reenactment of the scene where the dead sailors gang up on the mariner- used a song from return of the jedi as the background music ( one of the throne room parts )

heh
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 8:03 PM Post #10 of 17

Oistrakh

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just took the test today. It was a 75 minute multiple choice... Extremely difficult, the teacher put a lot of hard questions. I think the reason why it was hard was beccause he would put "none of the above" "all of the above" "A and C", those types of ones, where the answer could be two of the answer choices. The other class that took it, the highest grade was a C-... So much for trying to get all As....
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 8:11 PM Post #11 of 17

1911

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dood,
cliff notes..spend the 4.95 and understand all the symbolism crap
 
Mar 23, 2006 at 10:35 PM Post #12 of 17

MD1032

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I'm pretty sure the spirits were just to creep the heck out of the captain, but also so that the ship could get him home.
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 4:36 PM Post #13 of 17

dvallere

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sleepkyng
hahaha, so speaks the Pogo lover!
wink.gif



Yeah, but I never "got" the symbolism in Pogo, either, unless he was using the Russian pig character and the cowbirds...or the upright military dog trying to run the place. I've always just enjoyed the wordplay and fun between the characters.

By the way, it was Kubla Khan he wrote when on opium...not Rime...so I apologize, Oistrakh, if this misled you.
 
Mar 24, 2006 at 5:16 PM Post #14 of 17

catachresis

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@Sleepkyng: "fantastic poem - love it, but my favorite has to be Kubla Kahn"

The story goes that Coleridge was musing in an opiate-fuming manner while composing Kubla Kahn, when his reveries were interrupted by the knockings of an impertinent visitor from Porlock. After having been so abruptly woken, Coleridge repined, he was never able to finish the work.

The great 20th century English poet Stevie Smith argued that was all a load of bollix. Stevie rocks.

[]http://www.steviesmith.org/porlock.html]

Thoughts about the Person from Porlock

Coleridge received the Person from Porlock
And ever after called him a curse,
Then why did he hurry to let him in?
He could have hid in the house.

It was not right of Coleridge in fact it was wrong
(But often we all do wrong)
As the truth is I think he was already stuck
With Kubla Kahn

He was weeping and wailing: I am finished, finished,
I shall never write another word of it,
When along comes the Person from Porlock
And takes the blame for it.

It was not right, it was wrong,
But often we all do wrong.

----------------------------------------

May we inquire the name of the Person from Porlock?
Why, Porson, didn't you know?
He lived at the bottom of Porlock Hill
So had a long way to go,

He wasn't much in the social sense
Though his grandmother was a Warlock
One of the Rutlandshire ones I fancy,
And nothing to do with Porlock,

And he lived at the bottom of the hill as I said
And had a cat named Flo
And had a cat named Flo.

I long for the Person from Porlock
To bring my thoughts to an end,
I am becoming impatient to see him
I think of him as a friend,

Often I look out the window
Often I run to the gate
I think, He will come this evening,
I think it is rather late.

I am hungry to be interrupted
Forever and ever amen
O Person from Porlock come quickly
And bring my thoughts to an end.

----------------------------------------

I felicitate the people who have a Person from Porlock
To break up everything and throw it away
Because then there will be nothing to keep them
And they need not stay.

----------------------------------------

Why do they grumble so much?
He comes like a benison
They should be glad he has not forgotten them
They might have had to go on.

----------------------------------------

These thoughts are depressing I know. They are depressing,
I wish I was more cheerful, it is more pleasant,
Also it is a duty, we should smile as well as submitting
To the purpose of One Above who is experimenting
With various mixtures of human character which goes best,
All is interesting for him it is exciting, but not for us.
There I go again. Smile, smile, and get some work to do
Then you will be practically unconscious without positively having to go.
 

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