2.3.1 - Man and Nature While superficially, "The Rime of...

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Man and Nature While superficially, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” offers a variety of possible interpretations, from original sin to the crucifixion of Christ, a more profound dialectic, on man’s relationship with nature, also exists. It reveals that humanity is neither separate nor superior to nature by exemplifying the arrogance of this belief. Instead, man is entwined in a causational relationship, with nature, were the actions of one affects the other and visa versa. Contrasting two antithetical characters, the Mariner and the Hermit, their attitudes, and behavior, towards creation, with each other, reveals this connection. As well as the role nature plays in the poem and the imagery used to describe each situation. Establishing the archetypal relationship between man and nature is the character of the Hermit. This being, called “the Hermit of the wood,” peacefully and harmoniously coexists with nature: He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve-- He hath a cushion plump: It is the moss that wholly hides The rotted old oak-stump. (519-522) The Hermit kneels three times a day giving thanks or communing with nature, establishing the relationship. In return, he receives protection from harm and sickness as represented by the cushion of moss. Nature encompasses degradation, rotting, and injury keeping the Hermit safe by separating him from it. This illustrates how each entity effects and cares for the other. Furthermore, the rhyming and structure of this passage also creates the idea of peace and harmony. It utilizes assonance and this repetition of vowel sounds creates a lulling or tranquility harmony in the mind of the reader. The Hermit is also described as “good” (508), as someone who, “singeth loud his godly hymns,” (509) and most importantly has the ability to, “…Wash away/The Albatross’s blood” (511-512). This capability is highly significant because, the Hermit transcends the hubris of man creating a relationship, with nature, which is so strong that he has the ability to
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course ENG 142 B taught by Professor Watson during the Winter '07 term at UCLA.

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2.3.1 - Man and Nature While superficially, "The Rime of...

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