Romantic Elements in The Rime of Ancient Mariner

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      Supernaturalism. The Ancient Mariner is a romantic poem, impressing us by bold invention, and appealing to that taste for the
supernatural, the longing for a shudder, to which the 'romantic' school in Germany, and its derivations in England and France, directly ministered. Fancies of the strange things which may very well happen, even in broad daylight, to men shut up alone in ships far off on the sea, seem to have occurred to the human mind in all ages with a peculiar readiness, and often have about them, the fascination of a certain dreamy grace, which distinguishes them from other kinds of marvellous inventions. This sort of fascination The Ancient Mariner brings to its highest degree: it is the delicacy, the dreamy grace, in his presentation of the marvellous, which makes Coleridge's work so remarkable.

      The sudden and mysterious appearance of the skeleton ship, Death and Life-in-Death who are on board that ship, the coining back to life of the dead crew, the angels of light standing on the corpses, the popular spirits driving the ship are all supernatural elements in the poem. This supernaturalism lends to the poem an atmosphere of wonder, enchantment, and mystery which are romantic qualities.

      Medievalism. The poem has a medieval background. Interest in the Middle Ages too, is a romantic characteristic. The Middle Ages are a period of superstition, piety, and love and chivalry. In this poem the first two elements of the Middle Ages have been emphasised. The superstition of the period is seen in the supernatural incidents. Its piety is seen in the religious basis of the poem and in the reference to the hermit. The poem thus carries us back to a remote period of time.

      Nature. There are many pictures in the poem showing Coleridge's interest in nature. Love for nature is one of the outstanding qualities of romantic poetry. Every phase of seascape, landscape and cloudscape is touched upon in the poem. The sun shining brightly at the outset, the mist and iceberg surrounding the ship, the moving moon going up the sky, the water burning green, blue and white, the snakes moving in water and leaving tracks of golden fire-these are some of the beautiful and richly-coloured Nature pictures, is giving the poem a romantic interest.

      Melodious Movement. The poem is also romantic because of its melody and music. Coleridge here appears as a keen lover of sweet and musical sounds. Alliteration, medieval rhymes, onomatopoeia, etc., are all employed to produce musical effects. As an example of melody the following stanza may be taken:

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

      The simplicity and freshness of diction further enhance the romantic

      Conclusion. The Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century has been characterised by an upsurge of Imagination. Much of the magic of The Ancient Mariner comes from its blend of dark and serious issues with the delighted play of creative energy. The imaginative power of The Ancient Mariner gives to it, its complex appeal-there is no final or single approach to it.

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