Give a Character Sketch of Mariner, Wedding Guest and Albatross Bird from Class 10 Communicative English Chapter 10 (Poem) The Rime of the Ancient Mariner


Character Sketch of Mariner

The Ancient Mariner is unnaturally old, with skinny, deeply-tanned limbs and a “glittering eye.” He sets sail from his native country with two hundred other men. During a sea voyage he, along with the ship, is stranded in the ice of the South Pole. It is only when an Albatross appears that the ice breaks and the ship is freed.  Impulsively and inexplicably, he shoots the Albatross with his crossbow.  However, by killing the bird, the Mariner has triggered a series of events that causes the cosmos to rise up against him and his shipmates. As his crew dies, the Mariner is left to live on with what he has done. He is cursed to be haunted indefinitely by his dead shipmates, and was compelled into an act of confession by a supernatural force that even decides who he should tell the tale to. It is only when he comes to accept the beauty of all of God’s creatures, and that he must be respectful towards them, that he is partially forgiven for killing.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Overview – The poem is a story of sin, punishment and redemption of an old sailor. The poem conveys a message to the readers that one can never escape punishment from God after committing a crime. The poem starts with an old mariner approaching one of the wedding guests and stopping him from attending the wedding by telling him tales about his life.


Some Questions on Character Sketch of Mariner

Q1. Why did the mariners hang the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner?
Q2. Why does the Ancient Mariner stop and tell his tale to the wedding guest?
Q3. What was the terrible deed done by the old Mariner? Why was it terrible?

Character Sketch of Wedding Guest

The Wedding Guest is one of three people on their way to a wedding reception and is in a hurry to attend the festivities. He is next of kin to the bridegroom. He attempts to get away from the Mariner several times but Mariner’s compels him to sit and listen to the entirety of his story. At several points during the Mariner’s tale, he interjects to ask questions and to comment on the Mariner’s expression. He is deeply affected by the Mariner and what he has to tell him, despite being unwilling to listen at first. When the Mariner offers his moral, the Wedding Guest doesn’t even go to the festivities; instead, he returns home to think on what the Mariner told him. He awakes the next morning greatly changed by the experience.

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Some Questions on Character Sketch of Wedding Guest

Q1. Was the wedding guest happy to be stopped? Give reasons for your answer.

Character Sketch of Albatross Bird

The Albatross functions more as a symbol than a character. It is a great, white sea bird that presumably saves the sailors from the icy world of the “rime” by allowing them to steer through the ice and sending them a good, strong wind. The Albatross flies alongside the ship, plays with the sailors, and eats their food, until the Ancient Mariner shoots it with his crossbow. Its death brings about the Mariner’s eventual awakening to the sublime beauty and power of God’s creations. Its corpse is hung around the Ancient Mariner’s neck by the sailors as a reminder of his crime. The corpse falls off only when he was able to appreciate the beauty of nature and pray once more.

Some Questions on Character Sketch of Albatross Bird

Q1. What are two facts about albatross?
Q2. What kind of welcome did the albatross receive? Why?
Q3. How do we know that the albatross was not afraid of the humans?
Related: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Important Questions 

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