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Samuel Tylor Coleridges grave poem, The Rime of the Ancient, illustrates transformative

perspective toward religion over time.

Experiences of Mariners journey in Artic alter Mariners attitude about religion. The period

that the story is taken place is the age of exploration, where people start to come out from their own

native countries and explores for different countries and things. This makes them gain new knowledge

and experience, unlike the dark age where people were taught to believe and do in accord to the

religion. At that time, even though it is already in the age of exploration, people still tend to be

religious, which can be seen from his crewmates who still believe in sin and supernatural

phenomenon. For instance, his crewmates believe that albatross is soul of God that will bring them

good luck and fortune. By contrast, Mariner represents people in the modern society who start to

question about the religion and the existence of God as we receive more education other than

knowledge for bibles. He had internal struggle between conforming to the societys old belief or

differentiating his thoughts. Albatross is one of the things that he brings him into the question. His old

crewmates believe that the albatross is the good soul that brings them all fortunes, while he is not

quite believed with this idea and thinks that this might come from coincidences instead. In order to

find the answer toward his question, he shoots the albatross. However, he is not certain about his

action in killing of albatross: And I had done an 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!// Nor dim nor red, like an angel's 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. (Coleridge,1873) This scene shows that he has internal struggle

about his action. At first, after he killed albatross, he believes that he does hellish thing as he kills

albatross that bring them luck and fortune. The word hellish also represents his belief of the religion

that if he commits bad sin, he goes to hell. Nevertheless, as the time passes. the things turn out to be

good after the death of albatross, he thinks the idea of existence of God is unfounded, and also

albatross is just normal animal that does not represent anything related to religion. However, as the

story moves on, his perspective toward the religions changes. After the death of albatross, he and his

crewmates encounter with many supernatural and unfortunate events. At first, they suffer from serve

dehydration, and their ship sticks in the middle of ocean. Later, they also suffer from the curse from

the Life in the Death, making everyone in the ship except him die out. They each still curse him with
their eyes for killing albatross and bringing all these bad situations: One after one, by the star-dogged

moon,/ Too quick for groan or sigh,/ Each turned his face with ghastly pang,/ And cursed me with his

eye. (Coleridge,1873). At this point, he starts his internal struggle again. Even though he might feel

grateful in the aspect the he is still alive despite all of those situations, he feels guilty toward his

innocent crewmates as those unfortunate events. He starts to feel as if all that bad events that occur

come from the sins that he commits and makes them all need to suffer. This even intensifies as he

suffers with severe dehydration and curses from his crewmates for a week long, making suffering

both physically and mentally. With suffrage, it makes him realize how bad consequence can occur

from killing albatross. He learns that every action has its own consequences like sin in Christianity.

Because he commits bad sin which is killing albatross, he has to suffer all these unfortunate

consequences. Also, adverse consequences also change his belief toward God and other religion-

related things too. After a week long of curse and suffering, he feels really down, and has no one else

there to support and help him. The only thing in his mind that he believes that might help him at that

time is God. Even though he might still question about God and religion, he prays for God to help him

with this situation. After he prays, the situation turns out to be better and better: O happy living

things! no tongue/ Their beauty might declare:/ A spring of love gushed from my heart,/ And I blessed

them unaware:/ Sure my kind saint took pity on me,/ And I blessed them unaware (Coleridge,1873)

This shows that his misfortune starts to be replaced with good and beautiful things, changing toward

the attitude of religions. He starts to believe that God listen to him praying and took pity on him,

making him less suffer with the situations and adverse consequences. He also starts to love and enjoy

things around him as he starts to view his surrounding more beautiful and appealing. This can be seen

as he starts to view slimy things as happy and beautiful creatures that blooms inside his heart. From

this, it can be seen that the journey alters his attitude toward religion. At first, Mariner has a lot of

doubts about religion and does something which is killing albatross to answer his question without

considering adverse effects. However, as he encounters with those supernatural and unfortunate

events from the consequences of his sin, he changes in the way that he starts to believe about religion,

such as the sin and consequences as well as love toward each other, animals, and God.

Perspective toward religion may be different in each person and each period, however, it is

important for them to act in the good manner and learn to how to love and pray well.