The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Summary, Explanation - Class 10 English Poem Difficult Words, Literary devices, Question Answers
By Ruchika Gupta
CBSE class 10 English Poem 5 - The Rime of the Ancient Mariner c, Explanation and Important Questions
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Summary of CBSE Class 10 English poem followed by detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem. Also, the Summary is followed by a Explanation of the lesson. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson.
About the author
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1772 – 1834
Born in U.K.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement (An artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature. The noted poets were William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, William Blake and John Clare) in England and a member of the Lake Poets (The Lake Poets were a group of English poets who all lived in the Lake district of England, United Kingdom, at the turn of the nineteenth century. They are considered part of the Romantic Movement. The three main poets were William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey). Samuel's father was the Reverend John Coleridge the well-respected vicar of St Mary’s church and headmaster of the King’s school.
His famous works are The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Biographia Literaria, or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, is an autobiography in discourse by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which he published in 1817, in two volumes.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Summary - CBSE Class 10 English Lesson
The Rime of Ancient Mariner Summary
The Rime of Ancient Mariner Summary of the Chapter is given below:
A group of wedding guests was on its way to a wedding feast when one of them was stopped by an old sailor. He was eager to tell him his story. The sailor insisted upon it and the guest was forced to stay back and listen to his story.
The mariner began his story that how their ship sailed from the harbour on a happy note. They had a smooth journey for a short period of time after which a storm drove their ship southwards towards snow and mist. The ship got stuck in the lifeless region with huge masses of ice surrounding it. The ice made thunderous sounds as it cracked.
At this point of time an Albatross came flying through the mist. It was treated to be a noble soul, a holy messenger of God. With its arrival the snow cracked and gave way to the ship which once again started sailing.
The holy bird accompanied the ship, and was fed by the crew. A favourable south wind blew which drove the ship out of the cursed land of snow and mist. The sailors thanked the bird as it was a good omen for them.
The wedding guest noticed that the sailor’s face suddenly turned sad. The sailor answered his curiosity that in a spur of the moment, with his crossbow, he had shot the bird dead.
His fellow sails men blamed and cursed him for killing the holy bird but later they felt that he was right in killing the bird which had brought the fog and mist.
For some time, the ship kept on sailing smoothly towards the north. Suddenly, the wind stopped blowing and the ship came to a standstill.
Gradually, their stock of drinking water finished and although there was water all around them, they did not have a single drop to drink. The sea was so quiet that it seemed to rot, and ugly creatures moved on its surface. They felt that the bird’s soul had followed them to take revenge. Their mouths were so dry that they were unable to speak. All the crew stared at the mariner with hatred. They removed the cross which he wore around his neck and hung the dead Albatross in its place to signify his sin and guilt.
The poem is based on the theme of sin and redemption. After the ancient mariner commits a sin by killing the albatross, guilt hounds him in the form of strange natural and supernatural phenomena. During one terrifying experience, he has a change of heart and repents his wrongdoing. He carries out a penance, which is to travel the world to tell his tale to strangers.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Poem Explanation
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
Ancient: belonging to the olden times
Glittering: shining brightly, with flashing points of light
An old sailor stopped one person out of a group of three. The person said that the sailor had a grey – coloured beard and shining eyes. He asked him that why had he stopped him.
The bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'
Bridegroom: the boy who is getting married
kin - members of your family
din: sound of the wedding songs
The person was going to a wedding. He said to the sailor that the doors of the bridegroom’s house had been opened which indicated that the ceremony was about to begin. As he was a family member, he was in a hurry. All the guests had already arrived and the dinner had been laid. The wedding music could also be heard.
He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship," quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
quoth - said
loon - a mad person
Eftsoons - at once
Dropt: dropped his hand
The sailor held the wedding guest with his thin hand and began to speak. He wanted him to hear his story. He started to speak and had only said that there had been a ship when the wedding guest interrupted him. He called him a mad man with a grey beard and ordered him to take his hand off him. The next moment, the sailor removed his hand from the person.
He holds him with his glittering eye-
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.
holds him: captivates, hypnotizes
hath his will: he succeeded in doing what he wanted to do
Although the wedding guest was no longer held by the sailor’s hand, the sailor captivated him with his shining eyes. The wedding guest stood still and listened to the sailor like a three – year old child. He was under a spell cast by the sailor’s eyes. The mariner was successful in stopping him and began narrating his story.
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
Spake: archaic word for ‘spoke’
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part 1 Explanation and Literary devices of - CBSE Class 10
The wedding guest sat on a stone. He had no other option than to hear the mariner’s story. Finally, the bright – eyed mariner started narrating his story.
"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
kirk – church
The sailor said that their ship left the harbor as everyone was cheerful. As the ship sailed away, they could see the church, the hill and the lighthouse on the hill. It seemed that they sailed from beneath them.
The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.
He: refers to the Sun
The sailor further said that as they sailed, the sun rose from their left (as Sun rises in the east, it means that they were sailing Southwards). The Sunrise at the horizon seemed as if the Sun was appearing out of the sea. It was a bright and sunny day and finally, at Sunset it again seemed to disappear into the sea.
Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon-
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon
bassoon - a musical instrument
With each passing day, the Sun would be higher up in the sky and one day it was overhead at noon time which indicates that the ship had reached the equatorial region. The wedding guest heard the loud sound of the bassoon which meant that the wedding ceremony had started. The spell of the mariner broke, and the wedding guest was reminded of the wedding which he had to attend. So, he started beating his chest as a mark of protest.
The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
Paced: walked into
minstrelsy - singers and musicians
The poet describes the scene at the wedding. The bride walked into the hall. She was pretty like a red rose. She was led into the hall by a group of musicians who were playing happy wedding songs.
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
Although the wedding guest protested by beating his chest, still he did not have another option than to listen to the sailor. So, once again, the sailor with shining eyes continued to narrate his story.
"And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
tyrannous - cruel, severe, harsh
chased: dragged along
The sailor continued his story and said that a powerful and harsh storm seized their ship. It dragged their ship along towards the southern direction.
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
Mast: a tall pole on a ship or boat which supports the sails
prow - the front part of a ship
pursued - chased
foe - enemy
fled: to move swiftly
The ship had been overpowered by the strong storm. The mast was sloping down and the front part of the ship dipped into the sea due to the pressure of the wind. The ship was forceful, and the roaring sound of the strong wind could be heard. The ship was overshadowed by the storm just like a warrior who sneaks, bends his head forward and tries to escape from the shadow of the powerful enemy. The ship sailed at a fast speed which shows that the wind was intense, and the roaring sound of the wind could be heard. They kept on sailing towards the south direction.
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
emerald - a precious stone, which is clear and bright green
The ship reached the South pole region and it was surrounded by mist and snow. It was very cold. Huge masses of ice which were as tall as the mast of the ship floated by. They were emerald - green in colour.
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was all between.
drifts - floating ice
clifts - steep sides of the ice-bergs
dismal – gloomy, sad
Sheen - a smooth and gentle brightness on the surface of something
ken – see
The edges of the drifting masses of ice reflected the sunlight with a gloomy shine. The poet calls the shine to be gloomy and sad because as the weather was extremely cold and the Sun was not bright enough, the air was sad and depressing. There was no sign of life. They could not see any person or animal around. They were surrounded by ice.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!
Swound: a fainting fit, the act of fainting
Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Explanation and Literary devices of Part 2 of the poem - CBSE Class 10
The sailor says that ice was all around them. It made various sounds – it cracked, growled, roared and howled. The noises resembled those made by a person when suffering from a fainting fit.
At length did cross an Albatross,
Through the fog it came;
As it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
Hailed it: welcomed it
Finally, after a long time, an Albatross bird flew out of the fog. As it is considered to be a holy bird, the ship’s crew welcomed it.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
Split: broke into two parts
Helmsman: the person steering the ship
The albatross ate the food that the crew fed it. It would fly around the ship. It was a good omen for the ship because with the arrival of the albatross a good thing happened – The ice which had surrounded the ship split into two parts with a loud sound and the ship which had been stuck for so many days started sailing once again.
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!
hollo - shout, call
Also, a favourable wind started blowing from the south direction which helped them sail towards the north. The albatross bird followed the ship on it’s way. It came to the ship for food and to play with the crew whenever the sailor called out for it.
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine,
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine."
shroud - sail
perched - sat on the edge of something
vespers nine - a fixed time every day (the evening church service)
The albatross would sit on either the mast or the sail of the ship in all the weathers – be there mist or cloud, the bird remained with the ship. It would sit there at a fixed time every day just like the people pray in the church at a fixed time in the evening. All through the night when the sky would be white with the fog and the white moonshine glimmered, the albatross bird remained there around the ship.
'God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus!-
Why look'st thou so?'-"With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross."
Fiends: evil spirit, devil
plague - to bother, trouble
crossbow - a very powerful bow and arrow, with a trigger
Suddenly, the sailor’s face became serious and the wedding guest said that God may save the sailor from any evil spirit that had struck him. He asked the sailor that why did he appear so strange and that what had happened. The sailor confessed that he took his bow and arrow and shot the albatross bird dead.
"The sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
Now, as the ship sailed towards the north, the Sun rose to it’s right. Again, it seemed that the Sun appeared out of the sea. As they were still engulfed in mist, the Sun was not very bright and remained covered by the mist. It set and seemed to disappear into the sea on their left.
And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo!
The favourable wind from the south still blew and helped them sail but the holy bird was not there any longer. As it was dead, it no longer came to the ship for food or to play with the crew at the call of the sailor.
And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work' em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!
Woe: great unhappiness and sorrow
Averred: said firmly
The sailor confessed that he had committed a sin which brought a lot of unhappiness and sorrow. The ship’s crew blamed him for killing the holy bird which was a good omen as it had brought the favourable wind which had helped them sail. They said that the sailor was a criminal as he had killed God’s holy messenger which had made the wind to blow.
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
Purist: rose up
Slay: to kill
As the ship reached a bit towards the north, the Sun shone appropriately. It was neither dim nor too bright (red in colour). It looked perfect just like the halo surrounding God’s head. The ship’s crew was cheery to see the Sun once again and now it gave an opposing verdict. The crew said that the sailor had killed the bird who had brought fog and mist with it. They said that he was right in killing such a bird which had engulfed them with the depressing fog and mist. (This shows that the crew was fickle minded and changed its opinion according to the changing circumstances).
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
Foam: the bubbles formed on the surface of the sea
Furrow: the track formed behind the ship as it sailed ahead
As a favourable wind blew, the ship sailed fast. As the ship sailed ahead, it left behind a white – coloured foam in its path on the surface of the sea. The sea was very quiet and there was no sign of life. It seemed that the sailor’s ship was the first to have reached in that part of the world.
Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
All of a sudden, the south wind stopped and at the same time, the ship also stopped sailing. The crew became sad as it was stranded in the middle of the sea. The only noise that could be heard in the silent sea was that of the crew members talking to each other.
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.
The weather was very hot, and the sky was full of the copper colour emitted from the hot Sun. The poet addresses the Sun as ‘bloody’ because it seemed to be thirsty for the sweat and blood of the crew. Once again, the Sun was right above the mast – it was overhead which indicates that they were in the equatorial region. The Sun was very huge in size just like the moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
The ship remained stranded in the sea for many days. In a painting, a ship remains still in a still sea. Similarly, the sailor’s ship was motionless in the still sea.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
There was water all around the ship. The wooden planks of the ship shrank due to the dry heat of the Sun. The sailors were thirsty as the drinking water had finished. Although there was water all around, they did not have a drop to drink as the sea water was salty and so, it was not fit for drinking.
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
Slimy: with slippery bodies
The sailor prayed to God that he did not want to see that sight again when the deep-sea rotting. There were slippery creatures crawling all around the slippery sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
reel and rout: types of dances
It seemed as if the fire of death danced around them doing various types of dances. The sea water was like the oil of a witch which emitted different shades of green, blue and white as it burned. (witch’s oil has been taken from Shakespeare’s play titled ‘Macbeth’ in which the witch burned a magical oil which emitted different colours).
And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
Spirit: soul of the dead albatross
Fathom: a measurement of depth
Some of the crew members dreamed that the ghost of the holy albatross had followed their ship to take revenge for it’s murder. It had followed them at a distance of nine fathoms under the sea and had been chasing them from the land of snow and mist where it had been shot dead by the sailor.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
Drought: a condition of intense heat and lack of water
Withered: lifeless and dry
Soot: solid smoke
The tongues of all the crew members had dried till the end due to prolonged thirst. They were unable to speak, and their throats were dry as if they were full of dry smoke.
Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung."
All the crew members of the ship – old and young stared harshly at the sailor. They thought that they were suffering due to the curse bestowed upon them by the holy soul of the albatross. In order to punish the sailor for the sin committed by him, the cross was removed and instead the dead albatross was hung around his neck. It would remind him time and again of the grave sin committed by him.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Questions and answers
Answer the following by choosing the right option from those given below:
a. The Ancient Mariner stopped one of the three wedding guests because…………
i. he wanted to attend the wedding with him
ii. he wanted him to sit with him
iii. he wanted him to listen to his story
iv. he wanted to stop him from going to the wedding
A. iii. he wanted him to listen to his story
b. The wedding guest remarked that he was 'next of kin' which means that ……..
i. he was a close relation of the bridegroom
ii. he was a close relation of the bride
iii. he was next in line to get married
iv. he had to stand next to the bridegroom during the wedding
A. i. he was a close relation of the bridegroom
c. 'He cannot choose but hear' means………
i. the mariner was forced to hear the story of the wedding guest
ii. the wedding guest was forced to hear the story of the mariner
iii. the mariner had the choice of not listening to the story of the wedding guest
iv. the wedding guest had the choice of not listening to the story of the mariner
A. ii. the wedding guest was forced to hear the story of the mariner
d. 'The sun came up upon the left, /Out of the sea came he;' This line tells us that the
i. was moving in the northern direction
ii. was moving eastwards
iii. was moving in the western direction
iv. was moving towards the south
A. iv. was moving towards the south
e. The Wedding-Guest beat his breast because…………
i. he could hear the sound of the bassoon
ii. he was forced to listen to the Mariner's tale when he wanted to attend the
iii. the sound of the bassoon meant that the bride had arrived and the wedding
ceremony was about to begin and he could not attend it.
iv. the sound of the bassoon announced the arrival of the bride and the start of
the wedding ceremony
A. iii. the sound of the bassoon meant that the bride had arrived and the wedding
ceremony was about to begin and he could not attend it.
f. The storm blast has been described as being tyrannous because……….
i. it was so fierce that it frightened the sailors
ii. it took complete control of the ship
iii. the storm was very powerful
iv. the sailors were at its mercy
A. ii. it took complete control of the ship
g. The sailors felt depressed on reaching the land of mist and snow because……
i. there was no sign of any living creature
ii. they felt they would die in that cold weather
iii. they were surrounded by icebergs and there seemed to be no sign of life
iv. everything was grey in colour and they felt very cold
A. iii. they were surrounded by icebergs and there seemed to be no sign of life
h. The sailors were happy to see the albatross because……..
i. it was the first sign of life and therefore gave them hope that they might
ii. it split the icebergs around the ship and helped the ship move forward.
iii. it was a messenger from God and it lifted the fog and mist.
iv. it gave them hope of survival by splitting the icebergs.
A. ii. it split the icebergs around the ship and helped the ship move forward.
i. The two things that happened after the arrival of the albatross were ……
i. the icebergs split and the albatross became friendly with the sailors
ii. the icebergs split and a strong breeze started blowing
iii. the ship was pushed out of the land of mist and the ice melted.
iv. the albatross started playing with the mariners and ate the food they offered.
A. ii. the icebergs split and a strong breeze started blowing
j. 'It perched for vespers nine' means………
i. the ship stopped sailing at nine o'clock every day
ii. the albatross would appear at a fixed time everyday.
iii. the albatross would sit on the sail or the mast everyday
iv. the albatross was a holy creature
A. ii. the albatross would appear at a fixed time everyday.
k. 'God save thee, ancient Mariner, /From the fiends that plague thee thus!- Why
look'st thou so?' means……….
i. the mariner wanted to know why the wedding guest was looking so
ii. the wedding guest wanted to know why the mariner was looking so
iii. the wedding guest wanted to know whether some creatures were troubling
the ancient mariner
iv. the ancient mariner wanted to know whether something was troubling the
A. ii. the wedding guest wanted to know why the mariner was looking so
Answer the following questions briefly
Q1. How did the ancient mariner stop the wedding guest?
A. The ancient mariner captivated the wedding guest with his shining eyes and thus, stopped him.
Q2. Was the wedding guest happy to be stopped? Give reasons for your answer.
A. The wedding guest was unhappy to be stopped. He wanted to attend the wedding as he was a family member of the bridegroom. He beat his chest when he heard the music of the bassoon as the bride entered the hall for the ceremony. This shows that he was unhappy being stopped by the ancient mariner.
Q3. Describe the ancient mariner.
A. The ancient mariner was an old man with a long, grey beard. He had bright, glittering eyes.
Q4. How does the mariner describe the movement of the ship as it sails away from the land?
A. The mariner says that the ship sailed from the harbour on a happy note. There were loud cheers and the sailors were in high spirits. It left the harbour gradually, leaving behind the church, the lighthouse and the hill.
Q5. What kind of weather did the sailors enjoy at the beginning of their journey? How has it been expressed in the poem?
A. As the journey started the weather was favourable and the crew was cheery. It has been expressed in the poem in the following lines –
“The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, Merrily did we drop”.
Q6. How did the sailors reach the land of mist and snow?
A. After sailing smoothly for a while, the ship came in the grab of a storm. It resisted for a while but eventually gave in to the powerful storm. The storm drove the ship towards the south direction and it reached the land of mist and snow.
Q7. How does the mariner express the fact that the ship was completely surrounded by icebergs?
A. The ancient mariner says that the ice was emerald in colour and it was as high as the mast of the ship. As it surrounded the ship from all sides, it blocked their view. The repetition of the words ‘ice was here, ice was there’ is done to lay stress and makes the description powerful and clear.
Q8. How do we know that the albatross was not afraid of the humans? Why did the sailors hail it in God's name?
A. The Albatross was not afraid of the humans as it played with them. It came to the ship when the crew called out for it and even accepted food from them.
The sailors hailed it in God’s name as they considered its arrival to be a good omen. The bird’s arrival coincided with the cracking of the ice. The ship which was earlier stranded in the land of snow and mist started sailing out of it. It had done away with the gloom and depression of the crew.
Q9. What was the terrible deed done by the Mariner? Why do you think he did it?
A. The Mariner killed the Albatross with his crossbow. It was a careless act and later he was remorseful for it. He had committed a sin and later had to pay a heavy price for it.
He had done a careless act and did not realize the consequence of it. Later, he was full of guilt and had to suffer.
Q1. In which direction did the ship start moving? How can you say?
A. The ship started sailing towards the north direction. We can ascertain this from the lines in the poem which tell us that the Sun rose to the ship’s right. As the Sun rises in the east, the rising Sun will be on our right when we are facing or moving towards the north direction.
Q2. Why does the mariner say that 'no sweet bird did follow'?
A. The mariner says that 'no sweet bird did follow' because he is feeling sad for killing the albatross bird. As the bird was dead, it no longer accompanied the ship.
Q3. How did the other mariners behave towards the Ancient Mariner at first? How many times did they change their mind about the Ancient Mariner? What does this tell us about their character?
A. At first, the other mariners held the ancient mariner guilty of committing a crime by killing the holy bird. They said that the bird was a good omen for the ship which had started sailing again. They changed their mind twice. This shows that they were fickle-minded and opportunists.
Q4. How did the sailing conditions change after the ship had moved out of the land of mist and snow? What or who did the mariners blame for this change?
A. As the ship sailed out of the land of snow and mist, the wind stopped, and the ship also stopped sailing. The mariners blamed the ancient mariner for this change as he had killed the albatross who had brought the breeze.
Q5. What is indicated by the line 'The bloody sun, at noon, /Right up above the mast did stand,/No bigger than the moon'?
A. This line shows that the Sun was very hot as it shone over the mast. The adjective ‘bloody’ indicates that they did not like it that way.
Q6. How does the mariner describe the fact that they were completely motionless in the middle of the sea?
A. The mariner says that the ship and the sea were as still as they are in a painting.
Q7. What is the irony in the ninth stanza? Explain it in your own words.
A. The irony in the ninth stanza is that although the ship was stranded in the middle of the sea, they did not have a drop of water to drink.
Q8. What is the narrator trying to convey through the description of the situation in the tenth and eleventh stanza?
A. In these stanzas the poet is describing the sea which was absolutely still and seemed to rot. All the slimy creatures appeared on its surface and danced all over the place. The sea was like the witch’s oil as it emitted different colours of blue, green and white.
Q9. What or who did the mariners feel was responsible for their suffering?
A. The mariner’s felt that they were suffering due to the sin committed by the ancient mariner. They thought that the soul of the albatross had followed them. It had cursed them and so, they were suffering.
Q10. Describe the condition of the mariners as expressed in the thirteenth stanza.
A. As they did not have water to drink, their tongues had dried up completely. They were unable to speak and felt as if their throats had been filled up by dry smoke.
Q11. Why did the mariner hang the Albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner?
Why does the poet say ‘instead of the cross’ the Albatross was hung around his neck?
A. The sailors held the old mariner responsible for their misery and suffering. They accused him of bringing them to suffering. So, as a punishment, they hung the dead decomposing Albatross around his neck. They removed the holy cross which is worn by the followers of Jesus Christ as he had killed the bird which was a messenger of Christ and, so he was not authorised to wear it.
Q. There are a number of literary devices used in the poem. Some of them have been listed below. Choose the right ones and write them down in the table as shown in the example. In each of the cases explain what they mean.
Like part one, the second part also has a number of literary devices. List them out in the same way and explain them.
1. The Wedding-Guest stood still, And listens like a three years' child:
Simile; the wedding guest was completely
under the control of the mariner
2. Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top
Alliteration – ‘b’ sound is repeated
3. The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he
Personification – The Sun has been personified when addressed as ‘he’.
4. The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she
Simile – The bride is compared to a red rose.
5. And now the storm-blast came,
and he was tyrannous and strong:
Personification – The storm blast has been personified when addressed as ‘he’
6. With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe
Personification and hyperbole – The storm has been shown as a person with a lot of powers which have been exaggerated
7. The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around
Repetition – The word ‘ice’ has been repeated to lay emphasis.
8. out of the sea came he
Personification – Sun has been personified by addressing it as ‘he’
9. work ‘em woe
Alliteration – ‘w’ sound is repeated
10. Nor dim nor red, like God's own head
Simile – The Sun has been compared to the halo surrounding God
11. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free
Alliteration – ‘f’ sound is repeated
12. And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
Hyperbole- the consequence of their action of speaking has been exaggerated
13. All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun, at noon,
Metaphor – The sky’s colour has been indirectly compared to the colour of copper. The Sun has been indirectly compared to blood.
14. As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Simile – the ship and the sea have been compared to those in a painting
15. Day after day, day after day
Repetition – to lay emphasis
16. Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink
Irony – although they were surrounded by water, they did not have a drop of water to drink.
17. The death-fires danced at night;
Personification – Fire has been personified when said that it danced.
Q. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
A. The rhyme scheme of the poem is – ab cb.
Q. Find examples of the use of interesting sounds from the poem and explain their effect on the reader.
1. The ice 'cracked and growled,
Coleridge uses onomatopoeic words which
use harsh 'ck' sounds to make the ice
sound brutal. He also gives the ice animal
sounds to give the impression it has come
alive and is attacking the ship
2. The guests are met, the feast is set
Use of internal rhyme creates musical effect
3. The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew
The furrow followed free
Use of alliteration and internal rhyme to create musical effect
4. hot and copper sky
Visual imagery – the sky is imagined as a piece of copper
5. bloody Sun
Visual imagery is created
6. Day after day, day after day
Repetition to create emphasis
7. Water, water, everywhere
Repetition to create emphasis
8. like a witch's oils
The sea is dramatically compared to the witch burning oils
Q. Here are some of the archaic words used in the poem; can you match them with the words used in modern English language that mean the same? The first one has been done for you as an example: