“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” written by William Taylor Coleridge is one of the most distinctive and inimitable poems, quite unusual because of its language, topical amphibology, depicted unseen creatures that live in the world, and powerful nature beautiful and scaring at the same time. Having little in common with the other works of that time, Coleridge stresses that the natural world has its breathtaking and absorbing power over the human beings.
"Rime of the Ancient Mariner" tells the story of supernatural events that occurred with a sailor during prolonged swimming. He talks about it a little bit later to the accidental interlocutor, whom he distracted from the wedding procession. The narrative of an old man is the story of a sea voyage, romantic odyssey of a lonely soul. It is unusual as you can see the ship, happily departing from the shore, people, waving after them, twinkling past the church, the hill, and the lighthouse on it. People happily begin their voyage, but soon they are overtaken by the storm. They are constrained by the ice in the country, where there is nothing alive. Storm is described with the number of avatars: it is a terrible tyrant who suddenly grasps the ship and chases it with its wings (as if of a dreadful bird). So, people find themselves in the hands of the enemy, which pushes them into the valley of death, where the ice and the wind roar around them. The symbolism of this scene is also evident: the humanity under the power of the dark forces is on the wrong track and comes to a blind alley.
Cold, snow, blizzard, and ice traditionally embody the cold heart, danger, and death. But with the advent of a bird, the ice moves apart and releases the ship. The contrast between the two sides of the world is also symbolic: the ship is in the ice captivity at the bottom of the map vertically, which symbolizes the bottom, the pit of the spiritual world; Albatross helps the ship sail up to the north and rise spiritually. Though, “the albatross is an interpreted phenomenon ab initio: the bird is part of the mariner's superstitious preconceptions” (McGann 58). And then, to his own surprise, sailor kills the bird savior. The hero himself admits that he had made "a hellish thing”, horrified by the offense.
After killing the bird, there follows a number of changes in the nature and the state of the ship. In the sky there is a bloody sun, everything suddenly stops and remains still, as if life itself is stopped, as if the entire universe died with the death of the Albatross.
At the end of the poem, the Ancient Mariner addresses his respectfulness to the natural world as the remedy to be in good relationships with the spiritual world and to live in harmony with nature.
McGann, Jerome J.. “The Meaning of the Ancient Mariner”. Critical Inquiry 8.1 (1981): 35–67