Free Essay

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In: English and Literature

Submitted By DragonCOACH
Words 975
Pages 4
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Spiritual Connection Between “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and the Holy Scripture.

Donald McCoy

Liberty University
September 15, 2014

Many authors attempt to convey some sort of message in their writings, whether it be that of Romances’ by Shelley, the plight of women in the writings of Wollstonecraft, or the political satire behind Jonathan Swift’s works. It can even be said that some essays have been written to bring across a moral lesson to the reader. Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey”, in which the main character is rescued by the Greek gods and then embarks on a journey to return to his homeland, all the while facing obstacles that test his faith, loyalty, and solidify his virtues and beliefs. Few authors have had the success Homer gained in his grand tale featuring the main character, Odysseus. Arguably, even fewer authors have tried to emulate the Christian faith within their works with much success. Mr. Samuel Taylor Coleridge is one such author. Coleridge’s lyrical ballad “The Rime of an Ancient Mariner” is one in which numerous religious themes are adequately complimented. Most notable of the comparisons is that of the Albatross and how it symbolizes Jesus Christ. In the ballad, Coleridge writes,
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name. (Mariner, Line 65).

In the ballad, the men on the ship had become lost, with mist, snow, and ice converging on them. Suddenly, from a distance within the mist and fog appears an Albatross to show the men on the ship the way to safety through the troublesome waters. Likewise, due to the Original sin committed by Adam and Eve while in the Garden of Eden, man has lost their way from God. As a result, man has wandered around this world lost, waiting for a savior to lead them through the troubled waters of life towards the safety of our heavenly Father. Man needed a perfect sacrifice in order to take away the penalty for his sin. From a distance appears Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice. Hebrews 9:28 (NIV) says “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Jesus, like the Albatross in the ballad, appears to man from the mist, snow, and ice that is sin surrounding them as they travel the waters of life. All man has to do is keep an eye on Him, never to waiver, and He will lead them to the safety of their heavenly Father. Unfortunately, man has a habit of placing an Albatross around their own neck. Mankind oftentimes will sacrifice the one good thing they have going for them. Adam and Eve did so when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, knowing that it was forbidden. And, like the mariner who killed the Albatross for no reason whatsoever, man crucified Jesus Christ on the cross for no reason as well. One can even see the symbolism that Coleridge is placing between the death of the Albatross and the death of Jesus Christ.
“God save thee, ancient mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus! –
Why lookst thou so?” – “With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross. (Mariner, Line 80).

The bird that came to lead the men to freedom and safety, the Albatross, was slain by a crossbow. Jesus Christ, the One who came to lead man back to righteousness and the glory of the Almighty Father in heaven, was crucified on a cross.
There are other symbolic similarities to be found between the ballad by Coleridge and Scripture. For instance, we see similarities between the two when we read of the men on the ship once again losing their way without the guidance of the Albatross. Likewise, man once again loses his way on the ocean of life without the guiding hand of his savior, Jesus Christ. The number seven is also of great significance, in both the ballad and in Scripture. For example, the mariner stayed afloat on the ship while being haunted by the dead bodies of his crewmates for seven days and seven nights. There are also seven parts to the ballad. In the Bible, the number seven is a symbol for completion and perfection, as identified in Gen 2:2 (NKJV) where it states “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” The Bible, as a whole, was originally divided into seven major parts which include the Law, the Prophets, Psalms, Acts, the General Epistles, the Epistles of Paul, and the book of Revelation. The Apostle Paul used seven different titles when referring to Christ. Finally, we have the mariner having the unquenchable desire to go about and tell his story to anyone who will listen. This is a lot like a preacher that is called to spread the Word of God. He feels as if he must convey this very important message, as if to get a burden off of his chest in order to feel some relief knowing he is obeying Gods’ calling. The listener of this message, just like the wedding guest in the ballad who was mesmerized by what the mariner had to say, may come away from the experience sadder, learning of the fate behind mere mortals if they take their eyes off of the deliverer, but wiser, because he will know that there is a savior that can guide him through the stormy sea of life towards their heavenly Father if they choose to follow.

References
Coleridge, Samuel T. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Colredige

...Poets The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge hone his craft. Troubled by debt, though, he left Cambridge in 1793 and enlisted in the 15th Dragoons, a British army regiment, under the alias Silas Tomkyn Comberbache. After being rescued by his brothers, Coleridge returned to Cambridge, but he left again, in 1794, without having earned a degree. That year, Coleridge met the author Robert Southey, and together they dreamed about establishing a utopian community in the Pennsylvania wilderness of America. Southey, however, backed out of the project, and their dream was never realized. notable quote “No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.” fyi Did you know that Samuel Taylor Coleridge . . . • developed a fascination with the supernatural at age five? • was known as a brilliant and captivating conversationalist? • was the most influential literary critic of his day? • liked to write poetry while walking? Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772–1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge is famous for composing “Kubla Khan” and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” considered two of the greatest English poems. As a critic and philosopher, he may have done more than any other writer to spread the ideas of the English romantic movement. Precocious Reader The youngest of ten For more on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, visit the Literature Center at ClassZone.com. children, Coleridge grew up feeling rejected by his distant......

Words: 9889 - Pages: 40

Premium Essay

English

...him. The Mariner was able to free himself of the remorse of his sin by following the Hermit's request to tell his story. Regardless of any scrutinizing theories, whether they are critical examinations or not, Coleridge's lyrical ballad, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” continues to demonstrate a moralistic story. All can agree that the plot has a moral to impart and the Mariner's tough trials and struggles at sea, and of his life, leave him with the responsibility to notify all audiences of the life lessons he has gained. Christian roots run deep within the poem, however Coleridge created it so that a comprehensive study of Christian allegory is redundant when trying to comprehend this message. Nor is the emphasis of the importance of numbers or themes needed. In structure alone, the ballad is an exciting work of art. Its' simplicity and flow make the story of travel an interesting read. Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself might have possibly followed the "Hermit's" edict to free his own guilt by writing this poem, and sharing with his readership for his own personal repentance. Maybe it is just truly a lyrical ballad created from the vivid imagination of S.T. Coleridge’s mind. Regardless, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner succeeds in making the bizarre believable; creating detailed word-pictures, some troubled with horror, others piercing with brief visions of splendid beauty. All bring to mind images so clear and deep they affected the audience’s senses and...

Words: 274 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Christian Allegory Inrime of the Ancient Mariner

...Christian Allegory in Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of an Ancient Mariner" is a lyrical ballad that seems to be more like a miniscule adventurous story. However, not only it is a ballad depicting the adventure of an old mariner who is cursed for the entirety of his life because he kills an albatross; even deeper than that, it is also a religious allegory that conveys a plethora of themes pertaining to Christianity. On one hand, if a person were to read "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" simply as a tale at sea, the poem stands to be remarkable because of its rhyme of simplicity and easy flow. On the other hand, if one reads much deeper into the intricate details, symbolism, themes, and literary aspects, Coleridge will have produced a masterpiece in their eyes. Furthermore, a multitude of critics agree that there are several connotations that signify religion in this ballad; however, very few agree upon it being an allegory that mainly reflects the specific ideology of Christianity. Christianity preaches that life is basically a test by which we either pass and go to heaven, or fail and go to hell. Also, the human body is a victim of the human thought and action, which is represented by the soul. Therefore, in relation to the ballad, we can refer to the ship as the human body and the Mariner who steers the ship and leads it to destruction as the human soul. This ship led by the Mariner goes through a trial of storm and winds, but fails......

Words: 1365 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Romantic Poetry

...knowledge and innovation that they had disconnected from both the natural world, and their deeper, natural selves. Though the philosophies of the individual poets differed, in general romantic poetry focused on and lauded primitivism, and emotion, while minimizing (but not discounting) the importance of reason and logic. The ultimate goal of romantic poetry was the attainment of the sublime, the ultimate, transcendental connection with the natural self. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the pioneers of the Romantic Movement, believed that the creative imagination was the key to man achieving his connection to the sublime. This caused much difficulty though, as the source of creative imagination was impossible to trace and because creative inspiration was quite fickle. Coleridge struggled with this conundrum throughout his life, but felt that as a poet and as one who understood the importance of the creative imagination it was his right and responsibility to better mankind through his poetry. William Wordsworth was, along with Coleridge, another leader in the early Romantic Movement. Wordsworth believed that beauty and inspiration was to be found in the most rudimentary and common things, and was not something that could only be found in the high and lofty. It was the role of the poet to extract and explain that beauty. In his preface to “Lyrical Ballads” Wordsworth describes a poet as a man speaking to men, but ensures...

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Romantic Poetry

...politics are both generated by the same human craving for freedom from traditions and tyranny. The Romantic Movement revives the poetic ideals of love, beauty, emotion, imagination, romance and beauty of Nature. Keats celebrates beauty, Shelley adores love, Wordsworth glorifies nature Byron idealizes humanism, Scott revives the medieval lore and Coleridge amalgamates supernatural. As a result, the Romantic Movement revolts against the ideals, principles, intellectualism, aristocracy and technicality of Augustan period and smoothed the run of broad emotional gallery of substance relinquishing the rigidity of ‘form’.   From sociological and political perspective it is not unfair to say that Romanticism and French Revolution are synonymous. In fact, Rousseau’s social theory roughly embodies in the familiar phrase of ‘the return to nature’ while the battle cry of French Revolution – liberty, equality and Fraternity – are influential on the youthful imagination of Romantic poets. Rousseau establishes the cult of the individual and championed the freedom of the human spirit. Rousseau’s sentimental influence touches Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge; his intellectual influence Godwin, and through Godwin Shelly. Byron and Shelley also share the champion of liberty and revolutionary idealism. A wonderful humanitarian...

Words: 806 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Tempest

...Q.1. Why are we willing to suspend disbelief when we see a play, yet we demand so much more from a film production? Do you think that the limitation on special effects and alternative demand on the audience member to suspend disbelief is a weakness or strength of the theatrical experience? Would you rather see The Tempest on stage or in film? Why? Answer: In a theatrical play, we feel as if we are a part of it. The physical proximity to the “characters”, requires “suspension of disbelief” in order to continue enjoying the play. “Suspension of disbelief” is a term coined by famed poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the year 1817. This term implies to the willingness of the audience or the reader to ignore certain factors, such as supernatural, or limitations of the medium, to really enjoy the piece of art he/she is witnessing (Suspension of Disbelief, 2013). For example, in a magic show audience know that they are being tricked, and the magician is creating an illusion, but they willingly suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the show. In my opinion, the limitation on special effects is a strength of theatrical plays, as it leaves the audience to their imagination, and serves the purpose of transporting the audience to a fantastical world where there occurs an encounter with the live characters of the play. We become so involved in a theatrical play that added demand on suspension of disbelief becomes immaterial. Unlike a film, we feel as if we are participating in a play,......

Words: 729 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Nature in Romanticism

...Nature in Romanticism The Romantic Period came as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution and the rising emphasis on science and technology that the movement brought along. People traditionally living in the country now gathered into urbanized areas in hopes of employment as farmland gradually developed into factories (“Introduction”, Pages 5-7). As a result, cities became crowded and unsanitary as this sudden influx of population was not accounted for in city works. The lack of a citywide waste disposal system created an environment where litter dusted the streets and smog suffocated the populace (Wood). In the heavily industrialized cities of the time, flora and other greenery became a rare sight. The people of the late eighteenth century became rapidly disillusioned by their surroundings and yearned for the better days of the past where there was more space to breathe and distance themselves to find spiritual meaning in their life (Wood). The people sought for a refuge from the turmoil of society and found that coveted solitude in nature, which became idealized as a meditative sanctuary where people could go to reflect upon life or draw inspiration. Each writer of the Romantic period came upon different interpretations from their experiences with nature and these varying perspectives are reflected in their works. Pantheism was a very pervasive theme found in the works of the Romantic Period. This shared sentiment did not come as a surprise as nature became personal...

Words: 2207 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

The Line of the Ancient Mariner

...14 October 2010 The Line of the Ancient Mariner Attempting To Explain the Unexplainable Samuel Taylor Coleridge declares an argument in Part One of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner of what is to come of The Mariner and his crew. “How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.”(Coleridge II, 235) Coleridge stated in Biographia Literaria that he originally wanted to illustrate a disordered universe, “the incidents and agents were to be in part at least, supernatural;” (Coleridge I, 132). All who have read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner know the realm the ship sails into is a realm where the laws of logic and the scientific method are not valid. I plan to investigate the theme of “the strange things that befell” the crew after crossing “the Line”. L.J. Forstner explained the line the ship passes is not a geographic line, such as the equator, it is a line of understanding. We learned the region south of the line contains the imagination and unconscious while the region to the north of it has reason and conscious. (Piper 174) Some of the unconscious and imaginative events that happened during this time are when the albatross is given the credit for leading the crew from the South Pole. The......

Words: 1761 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

British English Literature

...History of English Literature 1918 by Robert Huntington Fletcher Education Share Preface | How to Study | Tabular View | Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Assignments Chapter X. Period VIII. The Romantic Triumph, 1798 To About 1830 The Great Writers of 1798-1830 | Samuel Taylor Coleridge | William Wordsworth | Robert Southey | Walter Scott | Last Group of Romantic Poets | Percy Bysshe Shelley | John Keats | Summary | Lesser Writers | THE GREAT WRITERS OF 1798-1830. THE CRITICAL REVIEWS. As we look back to-day over the literature of the last three quarters of the eighteenth century, here just surveyed, the progress of the Romantic Movement seems the most conspicuous general fact which it presents. But at the, death of Cowper in 1800 the movement still remained tentative and incomplete, and it was to arrive at full maturity only in the work of the great writers of the following quarter century, who were to create the finest body of literature which England had produced since the Elizabethan period. All the greatest of these writers were poets, wholly or in part, and they fall roughly into two groups: first, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Walter Scott; and second, about twenty years younger, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats. This period of Romantic Triumph, or of the lives of its authors, coincides in time, and not by mere accident, with the period of the success of the French Revolution, the......

Words: 13303 - Pages: 54

Free Essay

Tradition and Individual Talent

...Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920) by T. S. Eliot Introduction Often hailed as the successor to poet-critics such as John Dryden, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot’s literary criticism informs his poetry just as his experiences as a poet shape his critical work. Though famous for insisting on “objectivity” in art, Eliot’s essays actually map a highly personal set of preoccupations, responses and ideas about specific authors and works of art, as well as formulate more general theories on the connections between poetry, culture and society. Perhaps his best-known essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” was first published in 1919 and soon after included in The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920). Eliot attempts to do two things in this essay: he first redefines “tradition” by emphasizing the importance of history to writing and understanding poetry, and he then argues that poetry should be essentially “impersonal,” that is separate and distinct from the personality of its writer. Eliot’s idea of tradition is complex and unusual, involving something he describes as “the historical sense” which is a perception of “the pastness of the past” but also of its “presence.” For Eliot, past works of art form an order or “tradition”; however, that order is always being altered by a new work which modifies the “tradition” to make room for itself. This view, in which “the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is...

Words: 973 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Thematicessay

...There is one lesson that seems to be common in a lot of stories. A lesson about how to live your life and to learn to do things for yourself. This lesson I saw in many of the readings/films we read/watched in class, some examples include: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle and, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. These stories are all very different but share that same lesson of putting matters into your own hands. Trust no one or you will be hurt or put into danger. In Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, you can’t trust the government. The government also known as The Party, watches it’s citizens and will vaporize anyone just for doing something as simple as having an individual thought. In any society you should be able to trust the government. Maybe not completely but enough to know you won’t be killed just for thinking. “For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory” (Orwell 24)? This quote describes that the Party doesn’t keep records of the past, the records that are kept are constantly changed. People have so little memory of their past that Winston can’t even remember the beginning of the Party’s rule or his childhood. Another example about the government is even the children will turn you in for anything. The children are junior spies that could have you vaporized. “You’re a traitor!’ yelled the boy...

Words: 971 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

S.T.Coleridge; Brief Overview of Life and Work

...Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a leader of the British Romantic movement, was born in 1772, in Devonshire, England. His father, a vicar of a parish and master of a grammar school, married twice and had fourteen children. The youngest child in the family, Coleridge was a student at his father's school and an avid reader. After his father died in 1781, Coleridge attended school in London. While in London, he befriended a classmate named Tom Evans, who introduced Coleridge to his family. Coleridge fell in love with Tom's older sister Mary. Coleridge's father had always wanted his son to be a clergyman. In 1791 Coleridge entered University of Cambridge and focused on a future in the Church of England. Coleridge's views, however, began to change over the course of his first year at Cambridge. While at Cambridge, Coleridge also accumulated a large debt, which his brothers eventually had to pay off. Financial problems continued to plague him throughout his life, and he constantly depended on the support of others. En route to Wales in June 1794, Coleridge met a student named Robert Southey. Striking an instant friendship, Coleridge postponed his trip for several weeks, and the men shared their philosophical ideas. Influenced by Plato's Republic, they constructed a vision of pantisocracy (equal government by all), which involved emigrating to the New World with ten other families to set up a commune on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. Coleridge and Southey envisioned...

Words: 668 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Poetry Essay

...symbolizes the innocence of children with birds. The birds are happy and they sing; mocking the children. ’Nest of birds’ symbolizes peace. The poem could be attributed to the life of a person-birth, life, death. Birth being the morning, life being the kids playing, the routines throughout the day, and men reminiscing, and lastly death being the end of the day when all goes dark, and quiet smothers the earth. “The Eolian Harp”, is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Inspired by the peaceful music being played by wind this poem was written for his wife, Sara, while visiting a house of his in Clevedon, Somersetshire. The theme in this poem is also peace, as well as innoncence. Peace comes to him while he ponders on the beauty of nature, and the wonder of God giving him everything around him including Sara. Coleridge personifies nature by comparing it to abstract nouns. For example, the white flower represents innocence. This abstract noun does exactly this: it gives life and character to nature. Coleridge uses unperceived nature to appeal to the human...

Words: 500 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Role of Imagination in the Romantic Poetry

...external and internal experience. Or as William Wordsworth would say that ‘[...] poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.’ The poet therefore assumed the role of the mediator between man and nature. The role of the poet was arguably in place to showcase beauty, truth and the endless possibilities that tradition had previously encased. Within this new enlightened form of expression in literature, the imagination had been elevated to a primary position in regards to poetic composition. The imagination allowed poets to see beyond surface value, to create an external world of existence. It permitted them to see the truth beyond powers of reason and rationality. Samuel Taylor Coleridge in particular was a poet fascinated with the potential and limitless possibilities of the imagination. Coleridge placed considerable emphasis upon the imagination as a focal element within his poetry. He categorised the imagination into two key sectors; the primary imagination and secondary imagination. As explained in Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria: ‘The primary imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and a repetition in the finite of the external act of creation of the infinite I AM. The secondary I consider as an echo of the former, coexisting with the conscious will, yet still identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode its...

Words: 303 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Influence of the French Revolution on British Romantic Poets

...THE INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION ON BRITISH ROMANTIC POETS English Literature III Vítor Moura Introduction The French Revolution marks a turning point in world history and it is often said that it changed politics forever. Therefore, it is no surprise that its importance also reached the main literary movement of that time. Although not all of the poets were directly influenced by the Revolution, some of them were affected indirectly by the mood that ran across Europe. In this essay I will show that connection, influence and involvement between those writers and the revolutions; the one that happened in France and the one that could have happened in England. First Generation Romantic Poets First of all, it is essential to understand what the French Revolution was and why it happened. Without going into the details, we can say that it started in 1989 in an attempt to overthrow the monarchy in France and replace it with a republic. After a period of three years of tension and indecision, a republic was proclaimed in 1892 and in the following year King Louis XVI was decapitated. This was followed by the dictatorship of Robespierre and the Jacobins, the Directorate, and culminating in Napoleon Bonaparte’s dictatorship. The Revolution shook Europe all over defying order and everything old; it gave birth to new ideas that inspired European society, from music to philosophy and literature. Meanwhile, on the other side of the English Channel, the empire was......

Words: 2276 - Pages: 10