Summary of Ancient Mariner- Part II: "Ancient Mariner" by S.T Coleridge



With the passing time, it became tougher and tougher for the Mariner and his crew.

"Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink".

He could see slimy things in the sea. The crew believed that some devil was following their ship. They cursed the old Mariner for killing the bird and "the Albatross about my neck was hung". Now the condition of the crew was very bad.
"There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye".

They were dying with thirst. The old Mariner saw something in the distance. It appeared like a ship. The old Mariner says:

"I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!"

He was very certain of survival. In their imagination "they were drinking" water which they might get from the approaching ship. They were very happy. When the ship came near, it proved to be merely a skeleton of ship. The sun was behind it like a barred prisoner. The crew of that ship was "Death" and the "LIFE-IN-DEATH". The two are playing the game of dice. The fear was so great that all the mariners died instantly while old Mariner remained alive to bear the misery and agony of his life.

The wedding guest is terrified: "'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!". He thinks the old mariner is dead. The Mariner assures him "fear not...this body dropt not down". He says "Alone, alone, all, all alone" he lived like those "slimy things" in the sea. The Mariner tried to pray but he could not. He could see the rotting sea and the rotting deck. There were dead bodies all around him. The Mariner says:

"An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high".

And he could see curse in the eyes of the dead men about him, yet he "could not die". It was an accursed condition for seven days and nights. When the Moon rose, he could see water snakes. Without knowing, the old Mariner praised their beauty:
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare"

The beauty of the snakes inspired love in his heart and he "blessed them unaware". The Albatross around his neck fell off and dropped into the sea.

Read Part I...




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