The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Part One Analysis – Coleridge


In this article i’m going to make an analysis of the part one of the “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner“, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

«By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,

Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?

The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,

And I am next of kin ;

The guests are met, the feast is set:

May’st hear the merry din.»

He holds him with his skinny hand,

«There was a ship,» quoth he.

«Hold off ! unhand me, grey-beard loon !»

Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye—

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

And listens like a three years’ child:

The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner

«The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the light-house top.

The Sun came upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!

And the shone bright, and on the right

Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,

Till over the mast at noon—»

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on the ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner,

«And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o’ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,

As who pursued with yell and blow

Still treads the shadow of his foe,

And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,

And southward aye we fled.

And now there come both mist and snow,

And it grew wondrous cold:

And ice, mast-high, came floating by,

As green as emerald.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts

Did send a dismal sheen:

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—

The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,

The ice was all around :

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,

Like noises in a swound!

At lenght did cross an Albatross,

Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God’s name.

It hate the food in ne’er had eat,

And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

The heilmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,

Came to the mariners’ hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through the fog-smoke white,

Glimmered the white moon-shine.»

«God save thee, ancient Mariner!

From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—

Why look’st thou so?» —With my cross-bow

I shot the Albatross.




  • Partial descriptions of the mariner( long grey beard and glittering eye);
  • Person asks why he stops him;


  • Wedding Guest says that he is a relate of the bridegroom so he has to go;
  • He justifies this saying that the doors of the church were opened and the feast began because the din (chiasso) could be heard;


  • Mariner holds (tiene fermo) the man with his skinny hand and says that there was a ship;
  • Mariner begins to tell the story;
  • Wedding Guest is annoyed by this situation and he believes that the Mariner is crazy;


  • Mariner holds him with his glittering eye( hypnotization);
  • The man listens as a child that is three years old;
  • Mariner has captured his will (volontà);


  • Wedding Guest sets on a stone because he has lost his will;
  • Mariner continues telling the story and he says that the ship leaves the harbour;


  • Mariner says that the sun rises up from the left and go down to the right;
  • We can notice that the crew is going to south;


  • They arrives to the line because the sun is on the mast;
  • The Wedding Guest listens a bassoon and beats his breast because he wants to go but he can’t;


  • The bride (sposa) enters into the hall;
  • She is red as a rose;


  • Repetition of a part of the fifth stanza;


  • In the tale, it appears a storm blast that is tyrannous and strong. it chases (insegue) them to the south;


  • There is a personification of the ship;
  • Ship tries to go away from the place of the storm blast but she is still treading (calpestare) the shadow of that enemy because it is near;
  • She tilts (inclina) his head forward as someone who runs;
  • The blast roars and destroys a part of the ship;


  • Fog and snow appears because they arrives to the south pole;
  • It is cold;
  • Ice is as high as the mast and it is green as emerald;


  • Thanks to the drifts (correnti) there are a lot of icebergs that shine;
  • They don’t meet someone or something or some animals;
  • The ice was all around;


  • Ice is compared as an animal or a something that is living because it cracks, growls, roars and howls;


  • An albatross arrives through the fog and they hail (salutare) it as a Christian’s soul;


  • The albatross stays near the ship;
  • The ice is broken and they can go on;


  • A good wind is generated and it helps them to go away from the south pole;
  • Albatross follows them and every day it “hail” the mariners playing or eating;


  • Albatross stay onto the ship for nine days ( onto mast or shroud(vela));
  • Through the fog the moon shines;


  • God save thee, ancient Mariner: says the Mariner;
  • Mariner shots the albatross with his cross bow without any justifications;




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