Figurative Language In The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

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Samuel Coleridge used figurative language and unorthodox verse structure to describe the tragic, lesson-filled past of a sailor and portray literary elements of Romanticism and its ideals. By using a non-traditional approach to verse structure, it shows Coleridge's choice to not compromise the meaning and thought process of each stanza by following a set pattern. This demonstrates the versatility and story-like dynamic of the poem making it all the more captivating to the reader. Through his use of figurative language, Coleridge plays on the experiences of the audience by incorporating reality’s and aspects of daily life so the audience can easily connect with the story and apply it to their own lives. Samuel Coleridge’s use of figurative language …show more content…
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is written in an old English ballad fashion while including elements of literary Romanticism to not compromise the meaning and/or depth of his words by confining them to a specific verse structure. Instead, Coleridge chose to bend the rules of poetry by combining Romanticism with old ballad styles and sporadically differentiating the quatrain form for six to eight-line stanzas. For instance, the quote “There passed a weary time. Each throat/Was parch’d...each eye./A weary time!.../How glazed each weary eye!/When looking westward.../A something in the sky.” (Coleridge 143-148) is an example of the contrast between the use of the quatrain and the six to eight-line form. This reference is also connected with old ballad styles in terms of word choice and punctuation, making the story relate more to an old sailor reliving past memories. The narrative is also typically set to follow an “ABCB” pattern related to the rhyme structure of the piece to allow easier flow between each line. This “ABCB” pattern can be shown in the quote “I fear thee and thy glittering eye/And thy skinny hand so brown./Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest/This body dropt not down.” (Coleridge 228-231). By allowing the endings of the second and fourth lines to rhyme, Coleridge manipulated the typical “ABAB” pattern to create a unique style of connecting the thoughts of the Mariner within each stanza. Along with other factors, Coleridge took advantage of changing the meter and/or beat of the stanzas to accommodate the grouping of events happening in the Mariner's tale. An instance of this would be described in the quote “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” (Coleridge 83-86). Following the quatrain and “ABCB” pattern, this stanza also hosts a series of tetrameter and trimeter

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