Jordan, Joseph P., 1976-
Hampton, Bryan Adams
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a long-form poem that tends to elude understanding. Since its original publication in the Lyrical Ballads in 1798, readers have been unable to interpret the true meaning behind the tale and for what intention Coleridge had for writing the piece. Over the past two hundred years, scholars have attempted to interpret "The Rime" and yet it seems that every interpretation simply cannot hold true to the entire narrative. Through an overview of the textual and critical reception history of the poem, I conjecture that "The Rime" is actually imitating that of an oral poem, such as the epic poem Beowulf, and that through each revision of the poem, Coleridge was intending to demonstrate how a piece of oral literature can change with each cultural shift. Through this lens, I conjecture that Coleridge did not intend for "The Rime" to have a certain meaning but could actually be interpreted through any lens readers can devise, from a Christian allegory to that of a story regarding mental health.
I want to personally thank Professor Jordan for his massive influence on me throughout my time at UTC and the amount of dedication that he has given to helping me create this Thesis. Without him, I don't believe the quality of this piece would even be the same. I also want to thank Professor Hampton for his insight into the paper, allowing a different perspective to gloss the paper. Finally, I want to thank my family, my mother, my father, my sister, my aunt, and Eli for their constant support throughout this project.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834. Rime of the ancient mariner; Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834--Criticism and interpretation
Richard, Nina, "Sadder and wiser nonsense: Coleridge's "The rime of the ancient mariner"" (2023). Honors Theses.