Aspects of Narrative in Part 1 of Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner Essay

Submitted By Lizzieheyes
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Aspects of Narrative in Part 1 of Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
The use of voice in this section gives a sense of realism to the Mariner’s tale. In the third stanza the wedding guest exclaims “unhand me, grey-beard loon!”, the use of “loon” establishing him to the reader as a pragmatic character who is not easily convinced of such paranormal events. Therefore, the fact that he subsequently is fascinated by the story of the Mariner’s supernatural voyage makes the tale seem somewhat more believable and realistic as such a down-to-earth person would not be interested by such impossible events. This is further emphasised when the Mariner’s voice is interrupted at the line “Till over the mast at noon-“; at this point the bride is entering the hall, however the Mariner then continues his tale with “And now the STORM-BLAST came...” displaying that the wedding guest is so spellbound by the his tale that he prefers to pay attention to him rather than the wedding ceremony.
Setting is also employed to convey the realism of the events that the Mariner is speaking of. The interspersal of decriptions of the current setting of the wedding ceremony, for example “The bride hath paced into the hall...”, between the events of the Mariner’s story contribute to a sense that the events of the story and the realism of the present day are equal, conveying to the reader that the Mariner’s story may infact be true. In addition, Coleridge’s use of pathetic fallacy serve to create foreboding within the Mariner’s tale. In mentioning the sun which “shone bright” directly after describing the departure of the ship from the harbour, which was evidently glorious from the lines “The ship was cheered...” and “Merrily did we drop...”, Coleridge effectively links the voyagers’ good fortune to a pleasan setting which suggests to the reader that the fortune of the sailors could change as easily as the weather.
This forboding is also suggested by Coleridge’s use of chronology. A succession of descriptions from the Marner of his glorious departure is cut short by a switch back to the present day, indicating that this magnificent voyage…