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line by line explanation for the rime of the ancient mariner ?

Asked by arvind.kanesan....(student) , on 18/1/11

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The poem is an extract taken from Coleridge’s famous poem. Here he brings out the torment and the strong feeling of guilt faced by an ancient mariner (an old sailor) who, in a moment of cruelty, killed an innocent albatross. In order to overcome his pain and guilt, he often stopped strangers and told them the story of the troubles faced by the crew as a result of his cruelty

Posted by Rishita Padhy(student)on 18/1/11

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The ancient mariner narrated his story that when he was a sailor, their ship sailed southwards on a bright sunny day. It reached the equator where the sun was directly overhead at noon. At this point, the wedding guest heard the loud music of the bassoon and was frustrated. He visualized that the bride must have entered the hall as beautiful as rose and the merry singing will be around to welcome the bride. The wedding guest stood helpless and annoyed as he had to listen to the mariner’s story.
LINES 41-60
The ancient mariner continued his story stating that a dreadful storm struck his ship, pushed it at high speed towards the south direction. The storm was like a hunter chasing its prey (the ship) following it closely. The ship was moving fast making lot of noises as if it was followed by an enemy. The ship reached a place where there was lot of mist and snow. It was extremely cold as both mist and snow surrounded the ship. The ice was flowing as high as the ship looking like as green as emerald. The snow cliffs created a very sad looking shine, as there was no life around. The ice cracked, growled, howled and roared as it moved heavily, holding the ship at one place. 
LINES 61-81
The crew of the ship was disturbed with the cold weather but it was a great relief for them when they were eventually greeted by the arrival of an albatross which came through the fog. It was welcomed by the sailors. As it flew around the ship for food and play, the ice cracked and split. A good south wind propelled the ship out of the icy region into the sea. The albatross followed the ship everyday but at one point the ancient mariner in a fit of anger shot dead the innocent bird with his crossbow. He confessed this to the wedding guest.
LINES 80-105
The south wind continued to propel the ship northwards. The sailor soon realised that he had done a hellish thing by killing the bird that had brought the change in the breeze. But when the glorious sun rose after days of mist and snow, they all agreed that he had done a right thing to kill the bird that had earlier brought the fog and the mist. The ship sailed on until the winds brought it to a silent sea. Suddenly the winds died down and they were once again stranded in the middle of the sea.
LINES 106-121

When the breeze stopped to blow, the sails dropped and the ship was becalmed. It was so quiet that the sailors spoke only to break the silence. All day long the red sun shone in the the hot sky

Posted by Rishita Padhy(student)on 18/1/11

Day after day for many days there was no breeze and the ship remained still motionless like a painting. The crew had no water to drink in spite of the vast sea around them. Even the boats of the ship began to shrink

Posted by Rishita Padhy(student)on 18/1/11

LINES 120-140

The condition of the crew was pathetic as the sea looked terrible. Soon the bright and slimy creatures crawled out of it and walked on the surface. At night, the water looked like oil of witch making it change its colours. The sailors had no peace even in their ship and were constantly hunted by the presence of the dead Albatross’s spirit. Day after day they had no water to drink, their tongues dried up and they were unable to even speak. The guilt of killing held the mariner responsible for their woes and a constant reminder of killing an innocent bird, the sailors hung the dead albatross around his neck.

Posted by Rishita Padhy(student)on 18/1/11

hope u got it..........  .......


best of  luck for exams!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by Rishita Padhy(student)on 18/1/11

Well. Thank you so much for this explanation. It 'll help me alot. Thanks again!

Posted by MridulRocks(student)on 4/12/11


 can i get d answers of questions given at back of this poem...

Posted by Harshita Mahaja...(student)on 15/1/12


i have already joined meritnatin da loosu

Posted by Avneesh Manian(student)on 19/12/12


 IT IS an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp 'st thou me?


In the poem 's first line, we meet its protagonist, "an ancient Mariner." He stops one of three people on their way to a wedding celebration. The Wedding Guest , tries to resist being stopped by the strange old man with the "long grey beard and glittering eye.

The Bridegroom 's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May 'st hear the merry din. '

He explains that he is on his way to enjoy the wedding merriment; he is the closest living relative to the groom, and the festivities have already begun. 

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship, ' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon! '
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

The ancient mariner stops the wedding guest with his hand but when the wedding guests orders him to unhand him and calls him a loon, he lets go.

He holds him with his glittering eye--
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years ' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

 Though the  mariner did not restrict the wedding guest physically the intensity in the gaze of the mariners eye was such that the wedding guest had no choice but to listen. And he listened like a 3 year old child listening to a bed time story. The mariner had his will/way.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

The wedding guest had no choice but to hear and the ancient mariner started to tell his tale.  He sits on a rock and listens.

The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

The Ancient Mariner explains that one clear and bright day, he set out sail on a ship full of happy seamen. They sailed past the church, the hill and the lighthouse top till they could see no more of the land.

The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

They were sailing southwards as the sun came upon the left. He shone bright and strong,

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon-- '
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The sun rose higher and higher everyday showing that they were nearing the equator. Suddenly, the sounds of the wedding interrupt the Ancient Mariner 's story and the wedding guest beat his breast.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding Guest beats his chest impatiently as the blushing bride enters the reception hall and music plays. Next stanza –the wedding guest cannot choose but hear the ancient mariners tale.

And now the Storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o 'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

Personification.- As soon as the ship reached the equator, a terrible storm hit and forced the ship southwards. The storm is tyrannous and strong. It is being compared to a bird- overtaking wings.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

The mast of the ship unable to bear the strong and powerful wind of the storm bent under its force. The wind blew with such force that the ship pitched down in the surf as though it were fleeing an enemy. Ship was chased by the storm southwards.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

Then the sailors reached a calm patch of sea that was "wondrous cold", full of snow and glistening green icebergs as tall as the ship 's mast.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--
The ice was all between.

There were neither animals nor any other living creature in sight. All that one could see was ice and snow.

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 sailors were surrounded by ice. The sailors were the only living things in this frightening, enclosed world where the ice made terrible groaning sounds that echoed all around.

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God 's name.

  Finally, an  Albatross   emerged from the mist, and the sailors revered it as a sign of good luck, as though it were a "Christian soul" sent by God to save them. 

It ate the food it ne 'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

No sooner than the sailors fed the Albatross did the ice break apart, allowing the captain to steer out of the freezing world.