‘The Frog and the Nightingale’ is a poem associated with one of the most awful sounding creatures, i.e. a frog. As the title suggests the main characters in the poem are a cunning frog and a gullible nightingale. The poet has used these characters to aesthetically present a parody on the modern society.
The albatross is a very complicated symbol in the poem. Historically, the albatross was always seen as a good omen by sailors. Initially, the albatross came to the sailors as a sign of a good luck. As soon as the Albatross came into the lives of for the sailors, the ice sheet broke for the ship to sail through, and then the winds started blowing in their direction, pushing them northwards. The albatross could be seen as a good Christian spirit that had brought nothing but good blessings for the sailors. We see a super-natural connection between the living and the spiritual worlds. But for some unknown reason the Mariner killed the Albatross. With this there was a chain of negative events that followed. Everything that befell the sailors could be attributed to the killing of the Albatross. Its spirit was restless, hence, it avenged its death by taking the ship to a place where there was no wind or any kind of movement. It seemed as though they were given the sentence of a slow-death.
The Sun and Moon symbolize the competing influences on the Mariner’s journey. The two compete with each other, at times representing the forces of both the natural and supernatural worlds. The sun is associated with blood, heat, dryness. That is why it symbolizes both the majestic as well as the terrific aspect of the natural world. It was described by the poet with sublime beauty and at the same time the sun gave the ship its direction. Scientifically the moon is responsible for creating the tides, hence, it symbolically it represents the supernatural and divine influences that it has on nature.
Even though ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is a beautiful poem to read, it has a very thought-provoking theme that has to be focused upon. The entire poem is about one man’s guilt of committing an extremely heinous crime. The Mariner finds no salvation, no forgiveness, but only regret. That one single thoughtless action was enough to create a chain of events. By committing the sin of killing the Albatross, the Mariner had to endure great suffering, not just for himself, but also for his fellow sailors. He was responsible for their deaths too. The poem is based on the theme that the best form of prayer to God is to love his beautiful creations – birds, animals, trees and human beings. We need to remember one more thing, every living thing, be it the birds that fly, or the animals who wander or even the plants that grow are all God’s creatures. They too have life. And their lives should be respected. To love them is to love God. Hurting them is equal to earning God’s wrath.
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