In the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, Coleridge uses many contrasts. Some of the contrasts are very blatant, while other are more subtle. Some of these contrasts include the sun and the moon. Another contrast Coleridge introduces in this poem is the contrast of love verses hate. Also included in this poem is the contrast that particularly struck me is the contrast between white and color. These contrasts, in a sense, all enrich the poem and make all these points the author is attempting to express stand out. The contrast between the Sun and Moon is rather strong in this particular poem. While the Sun represents intense heat and misfortune, the Moon represents mild cool weather and a watchful, safe guide/eye. When the Sun is out, the Ancient Mariner seems to be dying of heat.
He is in this horrible, hot situation. On the other hand, when the moon is out, the moon seems to be watching over the Ancient Mariner. The poem states: “The moving Moon went up the sky, Love and hate is also a strong contrast in the poem. When the Ancient Mariner first looks down on the sea he sees these sea creatures which he describes distastefully. He describes them as slimy and rotten. There is a major shift in attitude, though, when the Ancient Mariner says “O happy living things! no tongue A spring of love gushed from my heart, At first, the Ancient Mariner seems to despise these sea creatures, then he loves them .
Although it is a rather abrupt change, it seems to be for the better. ( After he expresses his love for the creatures, the albatross falls off his neck and he is once again able to Yet another contrast found in the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is the contrast between white/lack of color and color. In the beginning of the poem, when the Ancient Mariner and his crew reach the South Pole, the setting is pure white. There is no other color described. It is a sort of frightening, blank, empty setting. “And through the drifts the snowy clifts Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken Later on in the poem, this is not so. Life-in-Death is described as “Her lips were red, Her skin was white as leprosy”.
Both Sun and Moon play significant roles in this old poem, in a symbolic and supernatural way, in order to reinforce the mood that Samuel Taylor Coleridge has attempted to create in his use of old legends and superstitions. The role that the sun and moon play in this tale of cursed sailors is an old one, retold over and over the years that Coleridge adapted for his own. Although mentioned several ...
This use of color is not found in the earlier parts of the poem. Another place where the use of color is particularly notable is then the water is described as “a still and awful red”. This use of color is a shock after the use of all water In this poem, Coleridge made use of many contrasts to perhaps to perhaps highlight some ideas/points that created vivid contrasts. The contrasts between the sun and moon, love and hate, as well as the contrast between white and color. The moon is seen as a watchful eye, while the sun is seen as “bad”. We see the Ancient Mariner hate things one moment and then love them the next moment.
In addition, we see the author describe a setting of pure white–and then right after of vibrant color. With this use of contrasts, these topics were highlighted in my mind.