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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Section.Stanza)

Quote #4

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools –
We were a ghastly crew. (V.76-77)

The bodies of the crew come back to life, but their souls are long gone, so the Mariner can't communicate with them. However, he does get to enjoy some angelic singing later on, so he's less isolated in that sense.

Quote #5

O wedding-guest! This soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.

Aha! This being literature, you just knew there had to be some big metaphor lurking somewhere. And here it is: the spiritual condition of the Wedding Guest parallels the physical (and spiritual) condition of the Mariner when he was separated from both God and humanity out on the ocean, with only the curses of the other sailors to keep him company. Not having had a chance to get to know the Wedding Guest very well (because someone has been gabbing for the entire poem), we have no way to verify this statement.

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