A Short Synopsis of Coleridge 's
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
Part I: The Wedding guest, the voyage, stuck in ice, he kills the albatross.
The Mariner stops a wedding guest and forces him, spellbound, to listen to his story.
The ship sails south to equator.
Wedding guest hears music of wedding beginning.
A storm hits the ship and impels it south. They are stuck in ice.
An albatross appears and is befriended by the shipmates. A south wind springs up and takes them northward.
He kills it with his crossbow.
Part II: They suffer punishment for his crime and are becalmed.
The crew at first cry out against him, but then commend him when the fog clears off.
They sail north and become becalmed at the equator. They suffer from thirst. Slimy things are on the surface, and lights are on the water and masts at night.
A spirit follows them under the ship nine fathoms down.
They hang the bird around his neck.
Part III: A skeleton ship comes, and its ghastly crew gambles for their souls. The crew dies.
He sees a ship far off. They rejoice thinking they are saved, but then despair when they wonder how a ship can sail without wind.
It is a skeleton ship with only a woman, Life-in-Death, and a mate, Death, for crew.
They play dice for the crew and she wins. The sun sets and the skeleton ship departs.
The crew dies, one by one, and their souls fly out.
Part IV: He is left alone for seven days. He blesses the water snakes, and the spell is broken.
The wedding guest is afraid that he is speaking to a ghost, but the Mariner assures him that he did not die.
He is left alone and tries to pray but cannot. For seven days he looks at the dead men and cannot die.
He sees the water snakes by the light of the moon. He blesses them and is able to pray. The albatross falls from his neck.
Part V: It rains. The ship is moved north, its crew reanimated by spirits. He swoons and hears two voices.
He sleeps and awakens to find it raining. A roaring wind and storm comes, and the dead crew rises and mans the ship.
The wedding guest is afraid, but is reassured that it is not the souls of the dead men that reanimate them, but a troop of spirits blest. They sing around the mast at dawn till noon, continuing to sail moved on from beneath.
The spirit from the snow and ice moves them to the equator again, and the ship stands still. It moves back and forth then makes a sudden bound. He swoons.
He hears two voices in his sleep tell of his crime and trials.
Part VI: The two voices talk. He wakes up in his native land. The spirits signal the shore, and a boat appears.
The two voices talk back and forth as the ship is impelled northward faster than any human could endure.
He wakes up and the ship sails slowly now. The crew is still up, and their eyes curse him still.
The spell is broken and a sweet breeze blows on him alone. He sees his native country.
The spirits leave the dead bodies and each appears in its own form, full of light. They stand as signals to the land, but make no sound.
A boat is heard coming to him. The Pilot, his boy, and the Hermit are in the boat. He hopes that the Hermit will shrieve his soul to wash away the blood of the albatross.
Part VII: The ship sinks but he is saved. He is compelled to wander and tell his tale.
The Hermit who lives in the woods there loves to talk to mariners from far off.
The lights of the signal have disappeared, and the boat appears warped, the sails like skeletons.
As they approach a rumble is heard under the water. The ship splits and sinks.
His body floats and is found and dragged aboard the boat. When he moves his lips they scream. He rows the boat.
When they reach land he begs the Hermit to shrieve him. The Mariner is overcome by a fit which forces him to tell his tale. Since then, he has had to travel from land to land and tell his tale. He has powers of speech and knows the men to whom he must tell his tale.
The sounds of merriment come from the wedding party within. He tells how sweet it is for him to have company after being alone on the sea and tells the wedding guest to love all thing both great and small.
The wedding guest leaves and rose the next morn wiser and sadder.