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Symbolism in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samual Taylor Coleridges poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a lyrical fantasy ballad based on the story of a weathered sailor and his ordeals The poem begins with the antiquated English mariner capturing the attention of a passer by on his way to a wedding With this the mariner proceeds to reminisce and tell his spell bound listener of his voyage between the equator and the South Pole and then back to England The story follows the mariner and his ship through life and death heaven and hell and everything in between Symbolism is used in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to convey powerful and complex themes that in turn create an Allegory In this paper allegory as well as symbolism will be defined Following the definitions will be examples of how they are used and explanations of their meanings in relation to the poem and to life An allegory is a story with two or more symbolic levels The events settings objects or characters in an allegory stand for ideas or qualities beyond themselves In a sense it is a description of one thing under the image of another On almost the same level symbolism is a literary device that uses one thing in representation of another Symbols are almost always physical in nature and represent something that is not physical like a color to represent a mood or an object to represent an idea The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem filled with morally and religiously orientated symbols One symbol and perhaps the most overlooked is the mariner himself He represents the individual soul and all the struggles that one eventually faces through life and death The mariners journey and tribulations that begin with the slaying of the albatross and end with his return to dry land in England parallel a souls journey from sin to redemption In likeness to
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