The Line of the Ancient Mariner

In: English and Literature

Submitted By brondie
Words 1761
Pages 8
14 October 2010

The Line of the Ancient Mariner
Attempting To Explain the Unexplainable

Samuel Taylor Coleridge declares an argument in Part One of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner of what is to come of The Mariner and his crew.

“How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.”(Coleridge II, 235)

Coleridge stated in Biographia Literaria that he originally wanted to illustrate a disordered universe, “the incidents and agents were to be in part at least, supernatural;” (Coleridge I, 132). All who have read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner know the realm the ship sails into is a realm where the laws of logic and the scientific method are not valid. I plan to investigate the theme of “the strange things that befell” the crew after crossing “the Line”.

L.J. Forstner explained the line the ship passes is not a geographic line, such as the equator, it is a line of understanding. We learned the region south of the line contains the imagination and unconscious while the region to the north of it has reason and conscious. (Piper 174) Some of the unconscious and imaginative events that happened during this time are when the albatross is given the credit for leading the crew from the South Pole. The Mariner kills the albatross and is then believed to be the cause of all the tragic events that follow. The "death-fires"(l 128), are reasoned by the crew to be omens. As well as “the horned moon with one bright star within the nether tip” (l 210, 211), leading to the imaginative, superstitious belief that something evil is going to happen.

Anne K. Mellor said that by “supernatural”…...

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