The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem written by S T Coleridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an English poet, literary critic, and philosopher, co-founded the Romantic Movement with his friend William Wordsworth.

In the poem, the old sailor is portrayed as one of the wedding guests by the poet, who then begins to recount his tale. He begins by describing how their ship sailed out of the harbour joyfully but later encountered difficulties and despair prevailed. He shot and killed a bird. Due to his sin, he was cursed.


One wedding guest was stopped by an elderly sailor as they were both heading to the wedding feast. He was eager to share his tale with him. The guest was compelled to wait back and hear the sailor's tale because of his insistence.

The mariner started his account of how their ship left the harbour on a positive note. After a brief period of trouble-free travel, a storm pushed their ship southward toward snow and mist. The ship became stuck in a barren area surrounded by enormous amounts of ice. The ice cracked with tremendous noises.

A flying albatross appeared at this time through the fog. It was regarded as a great soul and a divine messenger. When it arrived, the snow split and made way for the ship, which resumed sailing.

The crew fed the holy bird, which travelled with the ship. The ship was forced out of the cursed country of snow and mist by a favourable south wind. The sailors thanked the bird for being a sign of good things to come.

The sailor's expression abruptly changed to sadness, which the wedding guest saw. In response to his question, the sailor said that he had shot the bird with his crossbow on the spur of the moment.

His fellow sailors cursed and accused him of murdering the sacred bird, but eventually, they came to believe that he was justified in doing so because it was that bird that had caused the fog and mist.

The ship continued to go smoothly in the direction of the north for a while. The wind abruptly died, and the ship came to a complete halt.


The poem illustrates how one must deal with the consequences of bad deeds. As a result, we must avoid sin. But if that occurs, we must also confess our sins.

Questions and Answers

Q. How did the Ancient Mariner stop the Wedding-Guest?

Ans. The Wedding-Guest was stopped by the Ancient Mariner because of his odd look and dazzling eye. Additionally, he grabbed his hand and gave him a bright-eyed stare. The Wedding-Guest immediately stopped due to a kind of magical charm cast by them.

Q. Was the Wedding-Guest happy to be stopped?

Ans. The Wedding-Guest was not at all pleased to stop. As the next relative of the bridegroom, he requested that the Ancient Mariner release him. He had to be there for the wedding. Second, the party had begun and the guests had arrived. However, the Wedding-Guest was forced to listen when the Ancient Mariner gave him his sparkling eyes and turned to face him.

Q. Give a brief description about the Ancient Mariner.

Ans. With his long, grey beard and sparkling eyes, the Ancient Mariner had a highly unusual and off-putting appearance. He wore interesting clothing and had skinny hands. This gave him a weird and eerie appearance. The Wedding-Guest was under some sort of magical spell as a result of his personality. He had no choice but to follow the Mariner's orders.

Q. How does the Mariner describe the movement of the ship as it sails away from the land?

Ans. The ship was joyfully cheered when it left the harbour, according to The Mariner, who records its movements. It steered beneath the lighthouse, hill, and church. The ship eventually succumbed to the powerful storm after some time. It sailed as though a terrible enemy was following it. Its prow dipped, and its masts stooped low.

Q. What kind of weather did the sailors enjoy at the beginning of their journey? How has it been expressed in the poem?

Ans. The phrase Merrily did we drop/below the kirk can be interpreted as the sailors experiencing good weather at the start of their voyage. The sun shone brightly before setting into the right-hand sea. When a sea storm arrived, the weather altered. The ship was seized by this. Then the weather started to deteriorate further.

Q. How did the sailors reach the land of mist and snow?

Ans. The sea storm took the sailors to the region of mist and snow. It was so oppressive that it seized control of the ship and drove it to the region of mist and snow.

Q. How does the mariner express the fact that the ship was surrounded by icebergs?

Ans. The Mariner explains this fact by saying that the ice came floating by at mast height. There was ice all around the ship that appeared to be green. He continues by saying that there was ice everywhere. This ice hissed, raged, howled, and cracked.

Q. How do we know that the albatross was not afraid of the humans? Why did the sailors hail it in God’s name?

Ans. The albatross once flew through the fog and boarded the ship. It came when sailors called it, and it ate food. As a result, it can be concluded it had no fear of people. Since it was the first live thing they had seen since they arrived at the ice-filled sea, the sailors hailed it in the name of God. There, the albatross appeared to be God's messenger.

Q. What was the terrible deed done by the mariner? Why did you think he did it?

Ans. Mariner used his crossbow to kill the albatross. He shot it for a cause that he does not understand.


Q. How did the other crew members treat the Ancient Mariner?

Ans. He was initially criticized by the other sailors for killing the albatross. They quickly altered their minds, though, and began to honour the ancient mariner who had killed the bird that had brought in the fog and mist.

Q. What caused the Mariner to kill the albatross?

Ans. The mariner killed the albatross because he thought it was a bad omen and the reason why their wind had dropped.

Q. What happens after the Mariners shoot the albatross?

Ans. The sailors are so furious with the Mariner for killing the albatross and permanently cursing their ship that they force him to wear the bird's body around his neck to symbolize the burden he must bear for doing so

Q. What is the irony in the poem?

Ans. The irony is that the sailors are unable to drink the seawater despite the ship being surrounded by it. Coleridge's use of sarcasm in this passage helps to highlight how terrible things are for the sailors.

Updated on: 12-Jan-2023


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