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Samuel Taylor MEMMT Coleridge

Samuel Coleridge was born in Devonshire in 1772. Even if he


attended to the Cambridges university, he never graduated. At the
beginning, he was influences by French Revolution which made him
a sort of republican man but, after his disillusionment he tried to
create an utopian society called Pantisocracy where every job was
done communally and not for personal purposes. In this way
Coleridge wanted to bring labour and peace in the world;
unfortunately his plan failed. In 1797 he met Wordsworth and
together they wrote the colletion of Lyrical Ballad which contains
the most important Coleridges work: The rime of ancient mariner.
Subsequently, when he finally settled in London, Coleridge wrote
Biographia Literaria, a classic text of literary criticism and
autobiography. In this work he particularly explain the dual task
developed in the Lyrical Ballad by him and Wordsworth: William
wanted to deal with ordinary life while Coleridge wanted to tract
about extraordinary events. He died in 1834.
Imagination, like other poets, was very important for Coleridge. He
explained that there were two types of imagination. The primary
imagination, common to all men, that was a fusion of human
individual power and perception through the senses, enabled to
give a certain order to the chaos. The secondary imagination was
more important and it could be used only by poets. Thanks to it,
new worlds can be created. Another particular element, but not so
important like imagination, was fancy. It was not a simple
perception and it is based on the power of association of material
that already exist and that can be judge by reason. An example is in
the Rime of Ancient Mariner where Coleridge uses several details
that had impressed him during his readings but he wrote them in a
different way. Thats why fancy can be considered a skill that permit
the poet to take various ingredients and to transform them in
something of beautiful.
About nature, Coleridge, even if he was a Christian man, he didnt
support the idea of pantheism (nature=divine) of Wordsworth. For
him, nature its just the vision of worlds ideas on the flux of time.
So Coleridge also believe that in the nature there were abstract
meaning that he used in his poetry.

The rime of ancient mariner: feautures


THE NATURAL WORLD
The atmosphere of the poem is mysterious because there is a
mixture of the real and supernatural. The nature seems to be a
character itself and it interacts with the men. In particular we have
the clash between the Mariner and nature. The protagonist offends
the sprits of the world killing the albatross and starts the long
punishment. The wind dies, the sun become hotter and the sea is
populated by slime monster. Only at the end of the whole poem the
Mariner starts to appreciate the nature because everybody must
respect all natural creatures in order to respect God.
THE RIME AND TRADITIONAL BALLADS
The rime of ancient mariner presents all the main features of
traditional or medieval ballad: combination of dialogue and
narration, prose and verse, rich of alliteration, repetition and
onomatopoeia, the four-line stanza, archaic language and the
theme of travelling. However the Rime can be considered as a
modern ballad because it contains a moral aim (despite to the
medieval ballad). Thats why The Rime of Ancient Mariner can be
considered a Romantic Ballad.
THE KILLING OF ALBATROSS
An ancient mariner met 3 Wedding-Guest but he stopped one of
them to tell his story. The man didnt want to listen to him but the
mariner with long grey beard and glittering eyes holds him with his
skinny hand and started telling his story. The Wedding-Guest was
hypnotized, he couldnt chose but hear. The story began with the
mariner and his crew which set sail thanks to their ship. At the
beginning the good weather brought them southward but suddenly
a storm drove the sip to the south pole. There, they got blocked in
the ice but an Albatross appeared in the sky like a Chrstian soul, a
spirit of salvation, and the ship exit from the ice. For seven days the
albatross flew around the ship and for seven days the crew hadnt
any problems. But, without any reason, the mariner killed the
albatross: he shoot it with his crossbow.