Supernatural In Ancient Mariner

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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How does Coleridge create a sense of the supernatural and why? Refer primarily to parts2-4. Talk about features and give reasons.

In his poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge creates the sense of the supernatural offering the reader with a chilling dreamscape. The supernatural aspects of this poem also include strange affinities and predictions of the future in the form of dreams or the natural phenomena of storm and moonlight. The poet uses repeating symbols in create the supernatural. The "˜supernatural' is evident from the very start of the poem, once the main character the Ancient Mariner is introduced. For instance, the Ancient Mariner has a "long grey beard and glittering eye"�, yet we are told he detains a wedding guest, "He holds him with his glittering eye"� This image of an ancient grey haired man with such fascinating powers is easily interpreted as a symbol of a wise man or a magician.

The image is important because in the story, the mariner indeed seems supernatural as he survives events that would kill a normal man.

Imagery is used to create the sense of supernatural. Throughout the poem the passage of time and changes in the mariner's fate are created by descriptions of the appearance of the sun, moon and stars. This is an example of supernatural elements.

"The horror of the becalmed ship"� (lines 111-130) "The approach and later the appearance of the ghost ship and of its passengers"� (lines 149-194) The forces of nature play a role in creating the supernatural. For instance, "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"� The association Coleridge makes between tortured sounds and a fury of nature highlights the...

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