The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Good Luck
Who thought that the death of an albatross can upset the lives of an ancient mariner and his crewmen? Samuel Taylor Coleridge explains the “before and after” effects of the death of the albatross in his lyrical ballad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It was believed that the albatross was a sign of good omen or in other words good luck and every day it flew along side the ship on its journey south. Until the one day the Ancient Mariner made a mistake and, “shot the ALBATROSS” (32) leaving his crewmen and himself in a series of unfortunate events.
Coleridge’s portrays the natural world before and after the Ancient Mariner shoots the albatross through the symbolism of God. Similar events occur to the Christian sinner, Adam that happens to the Ancient Mariner. Before any of this chaos began, the crew was making their way south bound and unfortunately found them in an icy situation. Not much was to be done since, “the ice was all around” (18) and it was difficult to move. But the albatross was there almost; “as if it had been a Christian soul” (28) was a sign of hope for the crew and helped them through their situation.
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It was said that the albatross was actually a sign of good luck and it was for the men till the Ancient Mariner made the worst possible decision ever. The Ancient Mariner, “[…] shot the ALBATOSS” (32) creating the hell that is awaiting his crew and him. With the bird dead the wind no longer blew and the crew was stuck in the middle of the ocean, hungry. The crew yells out against the Ancient Mariner, for the killing the bird of good luck. Now if a person kills the bird of good luck what does one think will happen to them?
Well if one says an array of bad luck is coming their way then they are correct! Unfortunately in this poem it is exactly what happens to the Ancient Mariner and his crew men. The story of Adam and Eve is very similar to the events that Ancient Mariner and his men went through. Adam and Eve were the first humans God had created, he had them originally living in the Garden of Eden. This place was magnificent but there was one rule they must follow and that was to never touch the apples from the apple tree.
Eventually, Adam and Eve’s temptation got the best of them and one of them pulls an apple from the tree. Their action infuriates God and kicks them out of the garden forever. Thus emphasizing how one may be lucky with good luck but one move can lead to a life time of bad luck. See how simple it was for their lives to turn upside down, such a tragedy for them to go through. Incorporating the Adam and Eve symbolism made Coleridge’s poem more understandable for someone with the knowledge of the story understand it.