Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Ancient Mariner and the Albatross
Albatross and The Ancient Mariner
“…I shall kill no albatross… worn and woeful as the “Ancient Mariner“.”
The poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge tells the story of mariner at sea and his numerous trials. While at sea, he see an albatross flying ahead of his ship. Since albatrosses were seen as a sign of good luck, the mariner’s crew is happy to see the bird but the mariner shoots the bird down. Convinces that their voyage is now cursed, the crew forces the mariner to wear the dead bird around his neck until they all die from the curse. The metaphor of an albatross around the neck is now seen as a burden. Walton writes to his sister that he will not kill an albatross or suffer the fate of the Ancient Mariner, attempting to put her mind at ease and alleviate whatever worries she might have.