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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 Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Section.Stanza)

Quote #1

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot. (II.33)

The Mariner undergoes several stages of suffering after he kills the albatross. In the first stage, extreme drought and thirst, he shares this punishment with the crew. Also, remember how extreme thirst was also one of the curses suffered by the ghost crew in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean? We think the writers of that movie knew their Coleridge.

Quote #2

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drouth all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all. (III.38-39)

OK, so we're still talking about the same dry thirst, but this description is so nasty that we couldn't resist mentioning it. Their lips are as "black" as a piece of charred wood, and the only liquid close at hand is their own blood. Also, these lines suggest a new dimension of psychological suffering: false hope.

Quote #3

One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye. (III.49)

Even though the sailors reacted poorly to the death of the albatross, they were not ultimately responsible for it. The Mariner has their blood on his hands – all 200 of them – and he has to live with their curse until he repents.

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