Class-10 Chapter-11The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part 2 (Extra Questions & Notes)

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Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 10th as Per CBSE Syllabus

Chapter- 11 Par-II English Language and Literature

           Lesson Name- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part- II

                                                                                                       By- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Summary in Simple Language Part II

The journey continued. As they continued their journey, the improved weather continued too, but there was no bird that came to them for food, fun or play. But as the ship made its way out of the fog and mist and continued on, they decided that it must be the bird that had brought the mist. They started to think the opposite. Perhaps their shipmate had rightfully killed it after all. Now, the poet wants to highlight that people will keep on speaking about you without thinking a lot about you. Now, they considered the bird responsible for the fog and mist. The wind stopped and they entered the calm water of the sea, as though they were the first ever to have entered that realm.
Then, the blowing breeze came to a standstill, the ship stopped moving. Their sails stopped down because of the lack of wind. There was only sadness and silence all around. The sun continued to shower fires of heat from the sky above. The ship was souk not in ice now, but in water, it would not move. Like a painted pit lure in i, he still waters of the ocean the ship stood still. Due to lack of water, the wooden boards appeared to have shrunk. There was so much water around, but not a single drop fit for drinking. It appeared that the ocean water had decayed. Rot had set in, in the deep water of the ocean. The water was full of living organisms. It was ghastly. Impending doom was inevitable. Death seemed to be lurking everywhere. At night, the dense water of the ocean glistened brightly in all possible shades and hues. Some of the sailors had a confirmed opinion that it was the curse of the slain innocent bird that had brought them from the land of mist and snow into the sea, nine fathoms deep. Every soul was thirsty, every tongue dry and parched, their throats were suffocated and none could utter a word. Amid all this, the accusing looks that the Mariner got from every eye added to the torment and torture. He was filled with so much guilt and shame that he almost felt the dead albatross hanging around his neck, a continuous reminder of his own wicked act, the burden of this guilt he had carried all his life.

Point-wise summary:

 * After the albatross was killed, the sunshine returned.

 * The poet mentions that the sun was now setting on the left; which means that the ship was on its northward journey.

 * The South wind was blowing and the voyage was more comfortable. But no bird came to the ship to feed on the leftovers.

* The old sailor was feeling a sense of getting for having killed the albatross.

  • Many sailors abused him for killing the bird which was believed to have made the winds blow.
  • But some other sailors felt that it was the albatross which brought the mist and snow and hence it was right to kill the wretched bird.
  • After that, a lull came and they had to drop down the sail.

* It was a deathly silence all around.

* The sun looked bloody red at the noon.

* The ship was as still on the ocean water as a painted ship on a painted ocean.

* Water was everywhere around them but they did not have a single drop of water to drink.

 * The waves in the moonlight appeared as if the witch’s oils were burning to produce flames of various hues.

 * Everyone began to curse the old sailor because they believed that it was the killing of the albatross which brought all the misery to them.

* The old man was feeling that instead of a cross, the albatross was hung around his neck.

STANZA EXPLANATION

(Lines 81-105)

 The South wind continued to propel the ship Northwards. The sailor soon realised that he had done a hellish thing by killing the bird that had brought the change in the breeze. But when the glorious sun rose after days of mist and snow, they all agreed that he had done a right thing to kill the bird that had earlier brought the fog and the mist. The ship sailed on until the winds brought it to a silent sea. Suddenly the winds died down and they were once again stranded in the middle of the sea.

(Lines 106-120)

When the breeze stopped to blow, the sails dropped and the ship was becalmed. It was so quiet that the sailors spoke only to break the silence. All day long the red sun shone in the hot sky. Day after day for many days there was no breeze and the ship remained still motionless like a painting. The crew had no water to drink in spite of the vast sea around them. Even the boards of the ship began to shrink.

(Lines 121-140)

 The condition of the crew was pathetic as the sea looked terrible. Soon the bright and slimy creatures crawled out of it and walked on the surface. At night, the water looked like oil and it changes its colours. The sailors had no peace even in their ship and were constantly haunted by the presence of the dead Albatross’s spirit. Day after day, they had no water to drink, their tongues dried up and they were unable to even speak. The sailors held the mariner responsible for their woes and as a constant reminder of killing an innocent bird, the sailors hung the dead albatross around his neck.

Go to the Summary of PART I

Extract Based Questions and Answers

1. ‘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.’
(a) In which direction did the ship start moving? How can you say?
Ans.The ship was moving northward. The sun was rising now on the right.
(b) How is the sun different from what it was when the sailors were sailing southwards?
Ans. –At the time when sailors were sailing southwards, the sun shone brightly but now the sun was hidden behind the mist.
(c) Describe the weather in the above lines.
Ans.The sun rose and though it was covered with mist, the weather became pleasant. A good South wind blew behind the ship and pushed it northwards.
(d) Which figure of speech is used?
Ans. Personification.

2. ‘And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners’ hollo!’
(a) Why had the mariners called the bird?
Ans. –The mariners had called the bird to feed it or to play with it.
(b) What did the mariners think of the bird?
Ans. –The mariners considered the bird to be a good omen.
(c) What would be the result of killing the bird?
Ans. –They would suffer grave misfortunes.
(d) Was the wind favourable for the ship?
Ans. –Yes, a good favourable wind from the south flew from behind, which took the ship in the forward direction.
(e) Whom did the sailors miss?
Ans. –They all missed the albatross; the bird did not follow them anymore.
(f) Did the sailors try anything to call her?
Ans. –They tried to send out calls as they used to call her but no bird came.

3. ‘And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!’
(a) What hellish thing had the speaker done? Why was it hellish?
Ans. –The speaker had killed the albatross. It was hellish because the bird has been described as a Christian soul which was the harbinger of happiness and the Mariner had killed it for no reason.
(b) What was the reaction of the other sailors to the Mariner’s deed?
Ans. – At first the other sailors condemned the Ancient Mariner for killing the bird that had brought the breeze.
(c) Explain: ‘And it would work ’em woe’
Ans. –The sailors believed that the wanton killing of the albatross would bring sorrow and unhappiness.
(d) What do the first two lines convey about the speaker?
Ans. – He is guilty and feels his cruel act would bring all of them misery, they were cursed.
(e) How did they blame the mariner?
Ans. – They all said it was wrong of him to have killed the bird that had made the breeze blow.
(f) What do you mean by ‘averred’?
Ans. – Averred means said firmly.

4. ‘Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.’
(a) Why has the sun been described as glorious?
Ans. –The sun has been described as glorious because it had appeared after a long time. Before this, the weather had been foggy and misty.
(b)Name a poetic device used in the above lines.
Ans. – Simile—’Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,’
(c) These lines indicate a change in the sailor’s attitude. What is that change?
Ans. –The sailors had earlier condemned the killing of the bird as they had s bird of good omen, which had caused the ice to split and the breeze to now regarded it as the one that had brought the fog and mist.
(d) Did the sailors change their mind?
Ans. – First, the sailors accused the mariner, then they said he had done the right thing because the bird was responsible for the fog and mist.`
(e) What does this tell about their character?
Ans. – They were fickle-minded and changed their opinion very soon.
(f) Explain: ‘Glorious sun’ and ‘like God’s own head’.
Ans. – It is the bright sun spreading light everywhere on everyone alike. A halo around the sun is comparable to God’s head that has a halo around it. Sun was glorious as it had come out after the foggy weather.

5. ‘Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist’

(a) What had the speaker done?
Ans.The speaker had killed the albatross.
(b) How was reaction of the others significantly different from their earlier reaction? Why?
Ans. –The crew at first berated their mate for killing the bird that had brought the change in the breeze. But as the ship made its way out of the fog and mist, they decided it was the bird that had brought the mist so the Mariner had been right to kill the bird after all.
(c) What was the effect of the reaction of the sailors?
Ans. – The sailors became accomplices in the crime by praising the Ancient Mariner. Therefore, they too had to suffer.

6. ‘The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.’
(a) How does the narrator create the impression of speed?
Ans. –The mariner does so by describing the movement of the ship which cut through the waves, leaving a track on the surface of the water with the formation of the foam.
(b) Name a poetic device used in the above lines.
Ans. -Alliteration is being used in the lines-‘The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew/The furrow followed free’
(c) What happened after this?
Ans. –The mariners reached the silent sea.
(d) Where did they come?
Ans. – They came to a place in the sea which was silent. It seemed no one else had come there before them.
(e) Explain: ‘furrow followed free’.
Ans. – When the ship moves freely it cuts the water in two halves, leaving a furrow behind it.

7. ‘Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!’
(a) Why did the sails drop down?
Ans. –The sails dropped as there was no breeze.
(b) What was the only sound that the sailors could hear?
Ans. –The only sound the sailors could here was the sound of their own voice.
(c) What according to the sailors was the reason for this situation?
Ans. – The sailors blamed the situation on the killing of the albatross by the Ancient Mariner.
(d) What is the meaning of breeze?
Ans.- ‘Breeze’ means cool wind.
(e) What effect did it create?
Ans. Everything stopped, the breeze dropped, sails sagged as though life had come to a standstill. They could not understand this sudden change.

8. ‘All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.’
(a) How does the narrator convey the heat of the sun? How is it different from the sun earlier?
Ans. –The sun was red hot and it heated the sky. Earlier the sun has been described as being glorious.
(b) Name the poetic device used here.
Ans. –The poetic devise used is metaphor in the phrase-The bloody Sun.
(c) Where were the sailors at this moment?
Ans. – The sailors were nearing the equator.
(d) What do you understand by ‘hot and copper sky’?
Ans. –The extent of heat was so much that the sky also had turned hot and copper coloured.
(e) Explain The bloody sun at noon/right up above the mast did stand, No bigger than the moon.
Ans. –The sun’s heat is at its peak in the afternoon. The sun’s heat was at its peak at noon, it was right above the mast that is above our heads. In size, though it was like the moon the heat showered was excessive and unbearable.
(f) What do the lines convey?
Ans. –The ship has come to a standstill and heat is excessive, as though what is going to follow would be worse.

9. ‘Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.’
(a) Who was stuck and where?
Ans. – The Ancient Mariner and his companions were stuck in the middle of the sea.
(b) What is the effect of the repetition in the first line?
OR
What is the significance of Pay after day, day after day’?
Ans. – The repetition in the first line emphasises the lack of motion. The mariners had been stuck for a long time in the middle of the sea.
(c) How does the narrator communicate the idea of being becalmed?
Ans. – The idea of being becalmed, it’s the absolutely motionless state has been communicated by comparing the ship to a still picture of a painted ship standing in a painted ocean.
(d) Why were the sailors stuck on the ship?
Ans. Days were passing and the ship was motionless, so they were all stuck there.
(e) Explain: ‘Painted ship upon a painted ocean’.
Ans. The ship was motionless, even the sea was silent and still, everything looked like a painted picture.

10. ‘Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean. ‘
(a) Explain: ‘We stuck, nor breath nor motion;’
Ans. – The lines imply that the mariners were stranded on a still sea. There was no wind to help them move.
(b) Whom did the mariners blame for this condition? How did they punish him?
Ans.The Ancient Mariner was blamed for this condition as he had killed the albatross. The mariners hung the dead albatross around his neck.
(c) Explain As idle as a painted ship:
Ans. There was no breeze. The ship was still and motionless as if it had been painted on a canvas.

11. ‘Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.’
(a) Explain: Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink. ‘
Ans. – The heat of the sun dried the boards and shrank them.
(b) What sufferings did the sailors undergo?
Ans. – The sun was shining overhead. It was very hot. The sailors had no water to drink. There was no breeze, and the ship was stuck In the middle of the ocean.
(c) What do you mean by shrink?
Ans. ‘Shrink’ means to become short.
(d) Why was there no drop to drink?
Ans. – All the water was saline not even a single drop of water was there fit for drinking. This was the irony.

12. ‘The very deep did rot: o Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.’
(a) What does the word ‘deep’ refer to?
Ans. – The word ‘deep’ refers to the ocean.
(b) How did the ‘deep’ rot?
Ans. –The stillness of the sea and lack of motion made the mariners feel that the vegetation in the sea was decaying.
(c) How does the Ancient Mariner describe the sea and the creatures?
Ans. -The Ancient Mariner calls the creatures repulsive and slimy.
(d) What was unimaginable?
Ans. – That the whole ocean was rotting, as the water had come to a standstill. All living beings and the vegetation was decaying.
(e) What sort of picture has been created by the poet?
Ans. – An ugly and repulsive picture of all the things in the sea has been created by the poet.

13. ‘About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night:
The water, like a witch’s oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.’
(a) Explain the term ‘reel and rout’.
OR
What is meant by ‘reel and rout’?
Ans. –It refers to a dance from Scotland where the dancers go round and round.
(b) Where did the death fires dance?
Ans. –The death fires danced around the ship.
(c) Why did the water of the ocean appear to be burning green, blue and white?
Ans. – The rotting vegetation on the water appeared to have a film of oil on top that shone in various colours.
(d) How did the death fires dance at night?
Ans. – It seemed death was lurking everywhere.
(e) What picture did the water present?
Ans. – It was very ugly and frightening, different hues presented a terrible and sinister picture.

14. ‘And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.’
(a) Who was being followed? What spirit was following them?
Ans. -The Mariners were being followed by the spirit of the albatross.
(b) Why does the narrator feel they are being plagued? Give two reasons.
Ans. – The narrator feels they are being plagued because they had to undergo many hardships.
Ans. -The ship got stuck in the ocean as there was no breeze. They had no water to drink.
(c) Why was the spirit following them?
Ans. –The spirit was following them to avenge its death.
(d) What were the sailors confirmed about?
Ans. – In their heart, they were sure that the spirit of the slain bird had brought them there and was the cause of their misery.
(e) Who followed them?
Ans. – The spirit of the albatross.
(f) What do you mean by ‘plague’ here?
Ans. – Here it means troubled or tortured.

15. ‘And every tongue, through utter drought
Was withered at the root,
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.’
(a) Who are the ‘we’ referred to here? What was the reason for their misery?
OR
Who are ‘we’? Why are they miserable?
Ans. –‘We’ refers to the sailors. They are stuck in the middle of the ocean with no water to drink and no breeze.
(b) Why were their tongues dry?
Ans. –They had no water to drink and the sun was very hot.
(c) Who was held responsible for their condition?
Ans. –The Ancient Mariner was held responsible for their condition.
(d) What was the effect of excessive heat and lack of water?
Ans. –Every tongue was dry; they were all very thirsty without water. Their throats were parched.
(e) Explain: ‘Choked with soot’.
Ans. –The chimney pipe gets choked with soot. Here, metaphorically the throats were so dry due to thirst and heat that this device has been used.

16. ‘Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.’
(a)- Who did the mariner feel was responsible for his suffering?
Ans. – The mariner who had killed the innocent albatross was responsible for their misery. All the sailors felt he had brought them sufferings.
(b) What was the condition of the sailors?
Ans. – They could not speak. All of them, it seemed were waiting for their death.
(c) What do you mean by ‘evil look’?
Ans. – ‘Evil look’ means to look with strong dislike.

17. He holds him with his skinny hands,

 “There was a ship,” quoth he.

Questions :

(a) Who does ‘He’ refer to in the above extract?

 (b) What do we know about the speaker’s feelings?

(c) Why is his hand called skinny?

Answers :

(a) Ancient Mariner

(b) The speaker is ridden of the guilt of killing the Albatross.

(c) His hand is called skinny because he is very old and weak.

18. He holds him with his skinny hand

 “There was a ship”, quoth he.

Questions :

 (a) ‘He’ in the above extract refers to …..

(b) The first line of the extract reveals the speaker’s 

 (c) ‘Him’ in the first line refers to

 Answers :

 (a) the Ancient Mariner.

 (b) desperation.

(c) the Wedding Guest.

19. “As who pursued with yell and blow

Still treads the shadow of his foe,

And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, on roared the blast,

And southward aye we fled.”

Questions :

(a) Who pursued the ship?

 (b) What has been described here as defeated?

 (c) How did the ship tackle the adverse situation?

Answers :

 (a) The storm pursued the ship.

(b) The ship has been described as defeated.

(c) The ship showed tremendous moved in full blast.

20. “He holds him with his glittering eye-

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

And listens like a three years’ child

The Mariner hath his will.”

Questions :

 (a) The Wedding-Guest stood still because

 (b) ‘Listens like a three years’ child’ means

 (c) The Mariner hath his will when 

Answers :

 (a) of the hypnotic effect of the Mariner’s gaze.

(b) listens obediently.

 (c) he manages to get the Wedding Guest to stop and listen to his story.

21. “He holds him with his glittering eye-

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

 And listens like a three years child:

The Mariner hath his will”

Questions :

 (a) The wedding guest stood still because.

(b) The poetic device in the third line is 

 (c) The Mariner hath his will 

Answers :

 (a) the Mariner held him with his look.

 (b) Simile

 (c) by continuing with the story.

22. “He holds him with a skinny hand

`there was a ship’, quoth he,

`Hold off! Unhand me, grey-beard loon’!”

 Questions :

 (a) Who are the two speakers in the above lines?

 (b) Why does one person use his skinny hand to hold the other person?

(c) Explain the meaning of ‘grey-beard loon’.

Answers :

(a) The two speakers are the Ancient Mariner and the Wedding Guest.

(b) The Mariner does not want the wedding guest to leave.

(c) The Mariner is very old and looks and behaves like a crazy person.

23. “The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared

Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill

Below the lighthouse top.”

Questions :

(a) Who does ‘we’ refer to?

 (b) The journey began on a 

(c) Which poetic device is used in the above lines?

Answers :

(a) ‘We’ refers to the Ancient Mariner and other sailors.

 (b) happy note.

(c) The poetic device ‘repetition’ is used in the above lines.

24. “The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,

Yet he cannot choose but hear,

 And thus spake on that Ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner.”

Questions :

(a) The Wedding-Guest beat his breast due to great 

(b) The Wedding-Guest cannot choose but hear as

  (c) The Mariner is referred to as bright-eyes because 

Answers :

(a) helplessness.

(b) the Mariner has cast him under a spell.

(c) his eyes are lustrous and hypnotic.

25. “Higher and higher every day,

Till over the mast at noon-

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,

 For he heard the loud bassoon.”

Questions :

(a) What do the first two lines tell us about the weather conditions?

 (b) Explain-beat his breast’.

(c) The rhyme scheme of the above stanza is:

Answers :

(a) The weather was sunny and pleasant.

 (b) It means get very impatient.

 (c) abcb.

26. “And through the drifts the snowy clifts

Did send a dismal sheen

 Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken

 The ice was all between.”

Questions :

 (a) The word ‘ken’ means the same as:

(b) Where is the ship located?

(c) What is a ‘dismal sheen’?

Answers :

(a) to see.

 (b) The ship is located near the South pole.

(c) ‘Dismal Sheen’ is gloomy brightness.

27. “And now there came both mist and snow,

 And it grew wondrous cold,

And ice, mast high, came floating by

As green as emerald.”

Questions :

(a) It grew wondrous cold because………. 

(b) The floating ice was……….

 (c) The poetic device used in the last line is………..

  Answers :

 (a) the ship had reached the Polar region.

 (b) as high as the mast of the ship.

(c) simile.

28. “At length did cross an Albatross,

 Through the fog it came;

As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God’s name.”

Questions :

(a) Explain: ‘At length did cross an albatross’.

 (b) What favourable change did it bring?

(c) Why was the albatross hailed as a Christian soul?

Answers :

(a) It means the Albatross came after a very long time.

(b) It brought the South wind which enabled the ship to steer Northwards.

 (c) The albatross was considered as a saviour, a good omen, whose appearance coincided with IS favourable change of weather.

29. “The ice was here, the ice was there

The ice was all around: 

 It cracked and growled and roared and howled.

Like noises in a swound.”

Questions :

(a) The speaker of the above lines is ………..

 (b) The ship was stuck ………..

 (c) Identify the figure of speech used in lines 3 and 4………

 Answers :

 (a) Ancient Mariner.

(b) in shallow waters.

 (c) onomatopoeia.

30. “It ate the food it never had to eat,

And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit;

The helmsman steered us through?”

 Questions :

 (a) What is ‘It’ referred to here?

 (b) Why did ‘it’ eat the food it never had?

 (c) How did their fate change after its appearance?

Answers :

(a) It here refers to the albatross.

 (b) ‘It’ ate that food because it was the only food available there.

 (c) After its appearance, the ship was steered to safety.

31. “In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine;

 Whiles all the night through fog-smoke white,

 Glimmered the white Moon-shine.”

Questions :

 (a) Who is ‘it’ in the above lines?

 (b) What does ‘vespers nine’ refer to?

(c) Why was ‘it’ a boon for the sailors?

Answers

 (a) The albatross.

(b) It refers to the evening time of prayer (church service) for nine days.

 (c) Because it had brought luck and the sailors could move out of the land of mist and snow.

32. `God save thee, Ancient Mariner!

From the fiends, that plagued thee thus!

 Why look’st thou so?’-With my cross-bow

 I shot the Albatross

 Questions :

 (a) Who is the speaker in the first line and why does he say that?

 (b) Who appeared ‘plagued’ and why?

 (c) Who shot the albatross and why?

Answers :

(a) The wedding guest is the speaker. He says that as the Mariner is in pain and anguish.

(b) The Ancient Mariner appeared plagued as he is tortured by the memory of killing the albatross.

 (c) The Mariner killed the albatross for no reason.

33. “And the good south wind still blew behind,

But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play

Came to the Mariners hollow!”

Questions :

(a) No ‘sweet bird did follow’ because ……….

 (b) The ‘South wind’ was called ‘good’ because …………

 (c) The word ‘hollow’ here means …………

 Answers :

(a) the Ancient Mariner had killed the bird.

(b) it helped the ship to sail smoothly.

(c) call.

34. “Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,

The glorious Sun uprist: Then all averred,

 I had killed the bird

That brought the fog and mist.

`I was right, said they, such birds to slay,

That brings the fog and mist.”

Questions :

(a) The above stanza shows that the sailors are  …………..

(b) The criteria of the judgment of sailors are…………..

  (c) The poetic device used in the above lines is…………

  Answers :

(a) superstitious and selfish.

 (b) the rising of the sun in the sky.

(c) simile.

35. “Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down

I’ was sad as sad could be

And we did speak only to break

The silence of the sea!”

Questions :

(a) Name the poem and the poet.

 (b) Who is ‘we’ referred?

(c) Why were they “sad”?

 Answers :

(a) The name of the poem is ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and the poet is S. T. Coleridge.

 (b) ‘We’ here refers to the sailors in the ill-fated ship.

 (c) They were sad because they were stranded in a deep, silent sea with the sun beating down on them.

36. “Water, water everywhere

And all the boards did shrink

 Water, water everywhere

Not any drop to drink.”

 Questions :

(a) The repetition of the word `water’ in the above lines conveys that …….

 (b) The boards shrink due to ………..

 (c) The irony in the above lines is that……….

  Answers :

 (a) there was a large volume of water.

 (b) intense heat.

(c) there is water everywhere yet sailors can’t drink it.

37. “The very deep did rot; 0 Christ!

That ever this should be!

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

 Upon the slimy sea.”

Questions :

(a) The speaker is filled with……..

 (b) The deep refers to ……….

 (c) The speaker is …………

 Answers :

(a) anxiety.

(b) the sea.

(c) the Ancient Mariner.

 OR

 Questions :

 (a) Who is the speaker in these lines?

 (b) ‘Deep’ here refers to ……….

(c) The poetic device used in these lines is …………

Answers :

(a) The Mariner speaks these lines.

 (b) the sea.

(c) alliteration.

38. “And every tongue, through utter drought,

Was withered at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if

We had been choked with soot.”

Questions :

(a) Every tongue was withered due to ……….

(b) ‘We’ here stands for………..

  (c) The tongue was like a ………..

 Answers :

(a) complete dry weather.

 (b) all the Mariners in the ship.

 (c) plant, the roots of which had gone dry.

39. “Ah! Well, a day! What evil looks

Had I from old and young!

 Instead of the cross, the Albatross

 About my neck was hung.”

 Questions :

(a) Why did the shipmates give the Mariner evil looks?

(b) Who shot the Albatross?

 (c) Why was the Albatross hung around the Mariner’s neck?

 Answer :

(a) They held the Mariner responsible for all their miseries/sufferings.

 (b) The Ancient Mariner shot the Albatross.

(c) It was hung around the Mariner’s neck as a constant reminder to him of his sin and guilt.

40. Day after day, day after day

We struck, nor breath nor motion,

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

Questions :

(a) Why are the words repeated in the first sentence? Discuss their effect.

(b) Who was struck and where?

(c) What effect does the literary device of the last line create?

 Answers :

 (a) The repetition conveys a sheer length of time that passed.

 (b) The ship and sailors of the ancient mariner’s ship were struck in the middle of the silent sea.

(c) The last line is a simile and it pictorially describes a becalmed ship on a still ocean.

Go to the Extract Based Questions and Answers of PART I

Short Answers Type Questions
1. Why did the Mariners hang the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner?
Ans. –They hung the albatross out of a sense of revenge. He was held responsible for their plight.
2. Why did the Ancient Mariner not let the guest go and attend the wedding?
Ans. He wanted to tell his story to someone.
3. “The sailors are fickle-minded.” Justify this statement with reference to the poem.
Ans. First, they blamed him. Then, they praised him. They thought that the killing of the albatross brought them great woe. When the sun rose they felt he had done the right thing. They did not judge the killing of albatross by any standard of reasoning but by the change in the weather.
4. What crime had the mariner committed and how did it prove hellish?
Ans. –The mariner had killed the innocent bird who had brought new hope and the blowing of the south wind. After the bird was killed, the Mariners’ ship was stuck in the middle of the hot and sultry sea. With no water to drink and no ray of hope to brighten them up, they underwent a lot of physical and mental agony.
5. How did the sailors react to the killing of the albatross by the ancient mariner?
Ans. –The mariner was made to carry the dead albatross as a punishment for killing the bird. The other sailors were angry with him as they thought the bird was God-sent and it brought them ‘good omen’.
6. What is the poet trying to convey through this poem?
Ans. – Our reckless acts are the cause of our mental distress. We should be a little more thoughtful and considerate for others. Otherwise sooner or later we have to pay for our wrongs. The burden of our guilt is a punishment for our reckless actions. Confession of our guilt is in a way asking for forgiveness which can help in redeeming ourselves to a very great extent.
7. What did the Mariners hang around the speaker’s neck and why?
Ans. – The Mariners hung the dead body of the albatross around the neck of the speaker. They did this to make him repent for his mistake. The dead body of the albatross would be a constant reminder of his guilt.
8. Who was held responsible for their misery? Was it correct to do so?
Ans. – The Ancient Mariner and his killing of the albatross were held responsible for their misery. The sailors were right to call him responsible for their misery.

Q.9. How did the sailors react to the killing of the Albatross by the Ancient Mariner?

Ans. First, they blamed him. Then they praised him. They thought that the killing of the Albatross brought them great woe. When the sun rose they felt he had done the right thing. They did not judge the killing of Albatross by any standard of reasoning but by the change in the weather.

 Q.10. How did the other Mariners behave towards the Ancient Mariner at first? How many times did they change their mind? What does this tell us about their character?

Ans. At first, the other sailors blamed and criticised the Ancient Mariner for killing the albatross that made the breeze to blow. When the sun rose up in the sky, they praised him for killing the bird. They changed their minds two times. This shows that they had shallow and fickle minds.

Q.11. Why did the wedding guest beat his breast?

Ans. The wedding guest beat his breast because he had been held up by the mariner while he could hear the loud bassoon, which was an indicator that the bride had reached the hall.

Q.12. How did the Mariners reach the land of ice and snow?

Ans. The Mariners reached the island of ice and snow by taking the ship southward in their course.

Q.13. How were the Mariners saved from the land of ice and snow?

Ans. The Mariners were saved from the land of ice and snow by an albatross, which guided them away from the perilous landscape.

Q.14. Why does the Ancient Mariner compel the wedding guest to listen to his story?

Ans. The Ancient Mariner was deeply troubled because he was guilt-ridden of killing the bird Albatross. His guilt compelled him to narrate his experience to the wedding guest as he believed that confession of sin would lead to its redemption.

Q.15. The crew hangs the albatross around the sailor’s neck. What was the significance of this act?

Ans. The albatross started to follow the ship when the sailors had lost their way in the polar region. it was received with great joy and hospitality and was considered a good omen. The Ancient Mariner shot the albatross with a cross-bow impulsively. It was regarded as an act that would curse the ship which indeed suffered terrible mishappenings.

Q.16. Why did the sailors treat the Albatross so well?

Ans. The sailors treated the Albatross very well because it had brought an end to their sufferings and miseries. They called him a ‘Christian soul’.

Q.17. Why was the albatross called a ‘Christian soul’?

Ans. The Albatross was called a ‘Christian soul’ because its arrival took away all the miseries that the Mariners were facing. They felt that Lord Christ had sent them help in the form of an Albatross.

 Q.18. Why did the sailors give the Ancient Mariner evil looks?

Ans. The sailors gave evil looks to the Ancient Mariner because he had shot the Albatross which had brought them good luck. After the killing, they had to undergo many sufferings.

Q.19. How did the Ancient Mariner pay for his mistake?

Ans. The Ancient Mariner was punished for his mistake of killing the Albatross by the other Mariners. As a reminder of the mistake he had made, the Albatross was hung around his neck.

Q.20. Why did the Ancient Mariner shoot the albatross?

Ans. The albatross was a very friendly bird. It came there every day to eat and play. The Mariner took his bow and arrow and killed him. It was an impulsive act. Maybe he was wary of his hovering presence. It was not a premeditated act.

Q.21. How did Ancient Mariner move to hold back the wedding guest?

Ans. The Mariner hypnotised the wedding guest with the glare of his eyes. Terrified by the strange behaviour of the Mariner, the guest stood still like a three-year-old child listening to the story and not attending the wedding ceremony.

Q22. What does the line ‘water, water everywhere’ signify?

Ans. The ship was in the sea and these words signify the abundance of water all around.

Q.23. Why does the wedding guest listen to the Ancient Mariner-like a three-year-old child?

Ans. The wedding guest had been hypnotised by the Mariner. He failed to free himself from the spell cast by him. So he listened to the story like a three-year-old child.

Q.24. Which three elements of Romantic poetry are evident in S.T. Coleridge’s “The Rime of Ancient Mariner”?

Ans. The three elements are—the supernatural element, love for nature and the poetic form, i.e., the use of quatrain which rhymes abed and variation in the number of the lines in some of the stanzas and also the rhyme scheme.

 Q.25. Why was The Ancient Mariner made to carry the dead Albatross around his neck?

 Ans. The Mariner was made to carry the dead Albatross as a punishment for killing the bird. The other sailors were angry with him as they thought the bird was sent by God and it brought them ‘good omen’.

Q.26. Why does the wedding guest beat his breast while listening to the Ancient Mariner’s story?

Ans. The wedding guest beat his breast because he could hear the music and the merry sounds at the wedding announcing the arrival of the bride. He was getting delayed by the story of the Mariner. He was held to the spot by the Mariner’s glittering eyes.

 Q.27. What kind of welcome did the albatross receive? Why?

Ans. The ship had been struck in the ice for days. There seemed to be no way out of it. The appearance of the Albatross through the fog cheered the men. They gave it food to eat and regarded it as a good omen, as the ice split soon after its arrival.

 

Go to the Short Answers Type Questions of PART I

Long/ detailed answers type questions.

1. Why does the crew hang the albatross around the Mariner’s neck?
Ans. – The death of the albatross begins to be avenged as the breeze that once carried the sails had halted. There was no water to drink and slimy creatures could be seen emerging from the rotting sea. The crew burdens the Ancient Mariner with the weight of the albatross around his neck as a sign of guilt for their plight. The crew believe that the spirit of the albatross was following them, haunting them and causing the misfortunes that they have come to face.

2. Examine the ideas of crime and punishment in the poem.
Ans. – The Mariner killed the albatross for no apparent reason. The other sailors were initially outraged at the death of the bird of good omen. But once the fog dissipates they say that it was the right thing to do—such birds to slay that bring the fog and mist’. Instead of condemning this act, they start to praise the act of killing bird the bird and hence become partners in crime. They are punished by God for this misdeed as the winds die down and they are stranded on the ship with no water to drink and felt as if they were choking on the soot. The crew punish the Ancient Mariner with the weight of the Albatross around his neck. The value that is derived from this incident is that harming of an innocent creature has terrible repercussions.
3. Write the theme of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. Answer in 150 words.
OR
what is the theme of the poem The Rime of Ancient Mariner?
Ans. –The theme of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is, in fact, woven in the entire story. Also, it is clearly understood through the characterization of the Ancient Mariner, other mariners and the bird Albatross symbolically. The sea also becomes a symbol.
`The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is about sin and the retribution by the powers in nature. The Ancient Mariner commits sin when he kills the innocent Albatross. At first, his own mates on the ship are also angry with him for this cruel act. But when they find that the weather has improved after the killing of the Albatross, they justify the killing. They thus become a partner in the crime committed by the Ancient Mariner.
So the powers of nature avenge this crime and becalm the ship. There was intense heat and there was no drinking water. The mariners underwent great sufferings. They saw death fires during the night.

Go to the LITERARY DEVICES of PART II

4. What message does Samuel Taylor Coleridge wish to convey through the poem ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’?
OR
What are the moral values we get from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?
OR
What moral does the Rime of the Ancient Mariner Convey?
Ans- ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is an exploration of evil, both that of men and of nature and of salvation. The poem is full of Christian symbolism, which is also a departure from the romantic poetry. The slaughtered albatross, emerging spirits from beneath the murky water, slimy creatures of the sea, all are images of sin and evil, and its consequences. The whole poem is based on the Christian concept of sin, its punishment and redemption. The albatross can be seen as a symbol of God’s favour, bringing good results. The mariner, mortal and fallible, succumbs to his paranoia and fear, when he kills the innocent creature, thereby tainting himself with sin and losing connection with God and all things good. Coleridge uses dramatically mystical elements to express the consequences of the mariner’s colossal mistake. By destroying one of God’s creatures, the mariner is exposed to the darker aspects of the world.
Defying God leads to worse results. The crew hang the dead albatross around the mariner’s neck. The mariner is symbolic of a Christ-like figure and the cross-like albatross, a symbol of sin, is borne only by the mariner. Though the crew also suffer, punishment is borne only by the mariner.
In the end, the mariner is truly remorseful and is able to pray to God. As he prays, he is filled with God’s grace and albatross, a symbol of sin, fall from him. The moral of the poem is sublime, “he prayeth well, who loveth well.”
So Coleridge’s fascination with natural evil and salvation is clear in the poem. The slimy and ghastly creatures are fantastical, but they are a direct result of a very real moral failing on the part of the mariner connecting between the dark and mystical with ordinary, mundane life. Coleridge, like the other romantics, sees the beautiful and compelling in both the good and bad sides of nature and wants the reader to accept them, rather than succumb to fear as the mariner did.

5. Describe the hardships that the sailors had to undergo when the ship was stuck in the silent sea.
Ans. Following are the main hardships of the sailors-
No breeze, no motion — no sound
The only sound when sailors spoke me.
Sun — red hot, sky— hot and copper
Ship motionless, still as a painting
Water everywhere – but not a drop to drink
Throats parched – unable to speak
Sea rotting, slimy creatures on the surface
Night fires seen, water changed colours
No peace – sailors haunted in dreams

6. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” uses the element of supernaturalism. Highlight the use of this element.
OR
Explain the supernatural element in the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
Ans. – The very description of the ancient mariner and the look in his eyes, his skinny hands lend the supernatural element to the poem right at the beginning.
(i) He is able to compel the wedding guest to listen to his story with the fascination of a three-year-old child.
(ii) The emergence of the albatross from the mist, and the sailors revering it as a sign of good luck, as though it were a “Christian soul” sent by God to save them.
(iii) The mariner is hounded by disaster and supernatural forces after killing the albatross. (iv) His world becomes nightmarish when contrasted with the real world that he has left behind.
(v) The mariner kills the albatross whose spirit takes its revenge on all the mariners. They face utter drought in spite of water being everywhere. The ship is becalmed — As idle as a painted ship/ upon a painted ocean.
(vi) Supernatural beings appear in the poem as symbolic or allegorical figures. They represent the forces of nature, life, death and redistribution.
(vii) The mariner confronts these figures and must ultimately appease them in order to obtain salvation.

7. What is the poet trying to convey through this poem?
Or
What happens when we do things without giving a thought?
Or
How do we pay for our thoughtless or reckless acts?
Ans. – Whenever we act or behave thoughtlessly, we are made to suffer the consequences of our reckless actions. It is our own conscience that holds us guilty. Happiness eludes us. Living our life normally becomes difficult. It is said, “A clear conscience is a continual Christmas”. We are repentant but only when it is too late. What has been done cannot be undone. Happiness and joys, so simple is denied to a guilt-ridden heart. He who knows he has sinned moves around with a bent head. Sharing his guilt is part of one’s penance. Acceptance of one’s offence is equal to being innocent. A guilty person wants to share his burden and goes around looking for someone to hear his heart out. This act can help him feel light. Acceptance of one’s folly, asking for forgiveness, and a firm resolution, never to repeat the wrong can assuage the suffering. Confession of one’s sin also redeems the sinner.

Q.8. Discuss the significance of the title of the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’

 Ans. Rime’ means Rhyme, a poem or a song. ‘Ancient’ means old, strange pertaining to some far- off times. The poem has some references to outdated beliefs and practices. It is surely not only the mariner who is ancient, but even his rhyme is. Reading the poem at a stretch, one cannot guess the time-frame it belongs to. Coleridge has deliberately used some archaic words to make it appear ancient. The poem contains the story of the mariner’s sin, punishment and his redemption. The entire poem deals with the tale of the ancient manner and all the actions, the description relates to the ancient mariner’s tale. So the title is very suitable, direct and suggestive.

Q.9. Under which circumstances is the Wedding-Guest detained and held by the ancient mariner. What is the reaction of the wedding guest?

Or

Why did the Ancient Mariner not let the guest go and attend the wedding?

Ans. The ancient mariner is tortured and is emotionally wrecked. The burden of the sin and the guilt of killing the albatross are too heavy for the ancient mariner to carry. He has no rest or peace of mind. He is advised by a hermit to tell this story to someone so that the torment he is suffering, the ache he is feeling is reduced. The manner goes from village to village but no one is ready to listen to his story. He finds a wedding guest and narrates the story to him. Narrating the story soothes him, lifts the burden off his soul and restores him to normalcy. The Wedding guest is awed and mesmerised by the mariner but he is angry at having missed the wedding festivities. However, he learns a valuable lesson, “He prayeth best, who loveth best.”

Q10. What kind of farewell was given to the ship of the ancient mariner? Give an account of the ship’s journey before it reaches the land of snow.

Ans. The journey of the ancient mariner begins in favourable circumstances. The ship was accorded a very cheerful send-off, it crossed the harbour very quickly and entered the main seawaters. The ship sailed away from the coast, the church, the hill and the lighthouse. The sun shone bright and the ship appeared to be near the equator. But suddenly a violent seastorm engulfed the ship and the ship tossed on the merciless sea waves. The ship was forcibly driven towards the South Pole. The ship was bent with the force of the wind and it was unable to escape the fury of the gale. The South Pole was full of mist, snow and icebergs as high as the mast of the ship was floating here and there on the sea.

Q.11. What message does Samuel Taylor Coleridge wish to convey through the poem ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’?

Ans. ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is an exploration of evil, both that of men and of nature, and of salvation. The poem is full of Christian symbolism, which is also a departure from the romantic poetry. The slaughtered albatross, emerging spirits from beneath the murky water, slimy creatures of the sea, all are images of sin and evil, and its consequences. The whole poem is based on the Christian concept of sin, its punishment and redemption. The albatross can be seen as a symbol of God’s favour, bringing good results. The mariner, mortal and fallible, succumbs to his paranoia and fear, when he kills the innocent creature, thereby tainting himself with sin and losing connection with God and all things good. Coleridge uses dramatically mystical elements to express the consequences of the mariner’s colossal mistake. By destroying one of God’s creatures, the mariner is exposed to the darker aspects of the world.

Defying God leads to worse results. The crew hangs the dead albatross around the mariner’s neck. The mariner is symbolic of a Christ-like figure and the cross-like albatross, a symbol of sin, is borne only by the mariner. Though the crew also suffers, punishment is borne only by the mariner.

In the end, the mariner is truly remorseful and is able to pray to God. As he prays, he is filled with God’s grace and albatross, a symbol of sin, falls from him. The moral of the poem is sublime, “he prayeth well, who loveth well.” So Coleridge’s fascination with natural evil and salvation is clear in the poem. The slimy and ghastly creatures are fantastical, but they are a direct result of a very real moral failing on the part of the mariner connecting between the dark and mystical with ordinary, mundane life. Coleridge, like the other romantics, sees the beautiful and compelling in both the good and bad sides of nature and wants the reader to accept them, rather than succumb to fear as the mariner did.

Q.12. When the Albatross arrived on the ship, the Mariners experienced a sense of joy and were infused with new hope. Comment.

 Ans. The Mariners had been trapped in the midst of iceberg and snow. They lost all hope of escaping from the ocean and felt relieved when the Albatross arrived. The South wind started blowing, the weather improved, and the Mariners felt comfortable and hopeful. They were aware of the blessings the Albatross had brought and compared the bird to Jesus who had brought joy and infused the people with new hope. The bird provided them company end they fed and played with it the bird proved very lucky, kind, and gentle to them and hailed it as a ‘Christian Soul’!

Q.13. What were the blessings which the Mariners experienced when the Albatross arrived on the ship?

Ans. When the Albatross arrived on the ship the Mariners felt happy and thought they were blessed by a Christian soul because its arrival helped the sailors favourably when they were in trouble. Just because of the storm their ship faced difficulties. It was caught in the ice everywhere. All the Mariners were scared of the bad weather for a long time. But Lord Christ had sent them help in the form of Albatross. The ice split with a crackling and howling sound and made the breeze blow. The ship sailed freely and Albatross came to the ship for food and play every day. It seemed to enjoy the company of the sailors and responded to their call.

 Q.14. Whom did the Mariners hold responsible for their misery? Was it correct to do so?

Ans. When the ancient mariner kills the albatross, the sailors are frightened that great evil will befall them. Killing a bird who brought the South wind and was a great company, hurts the sailors very badly. But when no punishment follows the sin, the weather improves and the ship makes great advancement, the sailors change their opinion. But soon punishment follows, nemesis strikes them. The ship gets stuck in the silent sea and cannot move at all for days altogether. Then they undergo spells of thirst and parched throats. They are plagued by the polar spirit for killing the albatross. So they blame the mariner because it is their nature. They are too fickle-minded and have ‘herd- mentality’.

Go to the Long/ detailed answers type questions. Value-Based Question of PART II

EXPLANATION OF SOME IMPORTANT LINES
Line by line explanation for the Rime of the Ancient Mariner-

PART – II
1. The sun now rose upon the right: (Lines 75-82)
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist and on the left
Wend down into the sea.
And the good south wind still blew behind.
But no sweet bird did follow
Nor any day for food and or play
Came to the mariner’s hollo!
And I had done a hellish thing (Lines 83-90)
Explanation The sun rose on the right side of the ship, though it had been misty all day. The sunset and the favourable south wind was still blowing, but there was no bird to keep them company or eat the food they offered.

2. And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, l had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah, wretch! said they. the bird to slay.
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head. (Lines 91-96)

Explanation – All the shipmates condemned the ancient mariner for killing the albatross. They felt that albatross was a bird of good omen and now they will be facing misfortune and disaster, for killing the bird for no reason.

3. The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
‘Twas right said they; such birds to slay.
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white four flew
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst Into the silent sea.
Down drop: the breeze, the sails drop down. (Lines 97-106)
Explanation – To their surprise, bright sun arose, which looked glorious like the head of god. The sailors changed their opinion and now they praised the mariner for killing the bird since the albatross had only brought fog and mist. The ship sailed gently and white foam is flying on the surface of the silent ocean.

4. ‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
All in a hot and copper sky
The bloody Sun. at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand.
No bigger than the Moon
Day after day, day after day. (Lines 107-114)
Explanation- But too much silence is ominous and the atmosphere looks frightening. There is no wind, the sails drop and the sky looked like heated copper. The sun looked red and very small like the moon.

5. We stuck, nor breath not motion;
As idle as a painted ship Upon a pained ocean.
Water, water, everywhere.
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water; everywhere.
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot; O Christ! (Lines 115-122)
Explanation – The ship was stuck at the same place because there was no wind or tide. It was still like a painting. Although there was water everywhere, the boards of the ship started shrinking and the sailors had not even a drop of water to drink.

6. That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night
The water: like a witch’s oils.
Burnt green. and blue and white.
And wine in dreams assured were (Lines 123-130)
Explanation – The water looked rotten and sticky and ugly sea creatures could be seen near the ship. The sailors pray to God to save them. Death-fires appeared to be dancing and hovering around them and the sea water looked like the oil burnt by witches.

7. Of the Spirit that plagued us so:
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought
Was withered at the root,
We could not speak, nor more than if
We had been choked with soot.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young! (Lines 131-138)
Explanation – Some of the sailors had a nightmare that a spirit was trying to take revenge for killing the albatross. The spirit was tracking them from the land of mist and snow and it was moving nine fathoms deep in the water.
It Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung. (Lines 139-142)
Explanation The sailors condemn the mariner for landing them into such a ghastly problem. Their throats are absolutely choked with soot. They are full of contempt and in great anger they removed his cross and put the dead albatross round his neck.
Explanation of Some Important Expressions
1. Then all averred, I had killed the bird that bring fog and mist (line 100)
Explanation- The sailors are very fickle-minded. First they welcome the albatross and consider him a blessing. Later they think that albatross was responsible for the coming of fog and mist.
2. Water, water, everywhere
Nor a drop to drink (lines 120-121)
Explanation- The crew realises the gravity of the mariner’s action of killing the albatross. They are stranded without wind or water to drink. These signify that the crew has lost touch with the very elements of life. The crew also seems to share equally in the act of sin.
3. Slimy creatures did crawl with legs (line 124)
death-fires danced at night (line 127)
Explanation- The poet uses these mystic elements dramatically to create an atmosphere of horror and evil. The mariner, by destroying one of God’s creatures, exposes himself to the darker aspects of the world. The poet suggests that sin and defiance of God bring the worst results.
4. instead of the cross, the albatross
About my neck was hung (line 140)
Explanation- In retaliation for their increasingly miserable plight, the crew hangs the corpse of the dead albatross about the mariner’s neck like a cross. The cross, a symbol of God’s grace and blessing, is wrenched away from the mariner and the albatross is put instead, which is a grim reminder of his sin.

Value Based Questions

 Q.1. Respect for all forms of life is an essential value. Unmindful destruction of nature and its creatures deserve just punishment. Write in 80-100 words this essential value as brought out in the poem, `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.

Ans. Religions function on the basis of a man committing a crime or sin, repenting for it and then gaining subsequent pardon from a higher spiritual authority in lieu of his repentance. However, in the poem, there is no such eventual pardon in sight as the mariner is doomed to recount the story of his wrong deed for eternity to come. The poem explores the horror emanating from the unmindful destruction of nature and its creatures. It teaches us to respect all forms of life otherwise no matter how much one repents, a pardon cannot be expected as no higher spiritual authority will ever condone a wanton act of cruelty.

Q.2. What is the dramatic significance of the role of the albatross in the poem ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’?

 Ans. The albatross is the main pivot on which the whole poem hangs. The poem is an exploration of evil, both that of men and nature and of salvation. The whole poem is based on the Christian concept of sin, its punishment and redemption. The albatross is seen as a friendly spirit, a symbol of God’s favour, bringing good results. When the mariner kills the albatross, he taints himself with sin and loses connection with God. By destroying God’s creature, the mariner is exposed to the darker aspects of God. The albatross also exposes the fickle-minded nature of the sailors. In the end, when the mariner prays, albatross, a symbol of sin falls from him. The mariner is full of God’s grace. So the albatross is an instrument to expose the mariner’s sin and its redemption.

Q.3. What is a ballad? Discuss ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ as a ballad.

 Ans. The poem is written in the style of a lyrical ballad. It is a narrative poem that tells a story, like other ballads. This poem also relates a dramatic story like other ballads. The ballads are also a kind of literary form which is suitable for singing or rhythmic chanting. This poem has a very striking and dramatic beginning in which the Wedding Guest is forcibly detained by the ancient mariner and the dialogues between both of them are very impressive. The language is simple and the use of archaic words by Coleridge adds authenticity to it. So the poem has all the qualities of a ballad and it is very distinguished in all respects.


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