Incantations of the Supernatural in Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Dale Hunsucker English 2323 Ms. Palmer February 27, 2000 Incantations of the Supernatural in Rime Of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge states his duties in writing for the Lyrical Ballads . to be, in part at least, supernatural; and the excellence aimed at was to consist in the interesting of the affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions, supposing them real ( Biographia Literaria). Coleridge was to write about the supernormal in such a way that the ordinary person would be able to believe such occurrences could happen. It seemed that Coleridges responsibility was not to haunt or terrorize his readers, but to excite and grab their interest through unnatural happenings. And, with the willing suspension of disbelief, the common man could relate to his accounts. Samuel Taylor Coleridge adhered to his duties in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by evoking supernatural elements within his main character the Mariner, descriptions of the ghost ship and its crew, and the unexplainable atmospheric changes that occur throughout the poem. Early in the poem the Mariner was depicted as having a supernatural power to hypnotize the Wedding-Guest. Coleridge writes, He holds him with his glittering eye- / The Wedding-Guest stood still, / And listens like a three years child: / The Mariner hath his will (13-15). The Wedding-Guest wanted to leave the Mariner but the guest was thwarted by the Mariners hypnotic stare. Many times throughout the poem the Wedding-Guest tried to break away, but was always compelled to stay and hear the Mariners strange tale. The Wedding-Guest was not the only person to whom the Mariner must tell his story; he told the Wedding-Guest that he also had the strange ability to recognize the man who next needed to hear his lesson. The Mariner spoke, I pass, like night, from land to land; / I have strange power of speech; / That moment that his face I see, /…

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