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Look, i'll get to the positives first.
Coleridge builds up some good suspense and atmosphere early on. It begins as a Cosmic Horror Story. At the mercy of a wild, vengeful spirit world and the whims of the elements, on an alien and lonely sea.
Then it becomes a Space Whale Aesop. "Don't kill an albatross kids or everyone you know will die and you'll be tortured for eternity, unable to die!" Why killing other animals is fine, I dunno.
I understand that this is a romanticist poem and the albatross is a symbol of nature, or god, or special offers at burger king, but the symbolism doesn't corellate well with the actual concrete events we see. It isn't GOOD symbolism.
But the hammy, shoehorned in Christisn moral beats it. "Be nice and worship god and marvel at his creations and you might be able to redeem yourself maybe but not really because you'll still suffer FOREVER and beforced to recount your story to whatever douche crosses your path." The problen is, as an atheist i cannot relate to this moral. Morals are meant to be, and SHOULD be, universal.
The ending is anticlimactic (may have been the point) and even Coleridge apparently thought the sudden moral was a bit rubbish.
The language of the poem itself is nice, and I actually did like what he seemed to be going for early on with it's forboeding atmosphere, but it appears as though i have no choice but to bash a piece of Classic literature.
It bothers me that the Mariner kills the bird for no reason at all. It's like he was suddenly made to do so simply so the author could punish him for eternity for it, resulting the character inexplicably killing it with no thought process behind it.
To be honest, I think this review is a bit outdated.
I've read a bit of it again and honestly I think my opinion may have changed.
Dunno if you can delete reviews here, but yeah.
Okay, now I've fully reread it, and..... I completely disagree with my former opinion.
IGNORE THIS REVIEW
Did you just Values Dissonance yourself?
Basically, the poem could be re-titled ``Don`t press the `DON`T` button!``
One of my favourite things about it is how much influence it has over nautical themed literature, to the point that every historical novel has to address why shooting Albatrosses isn`t a good idea (which mostly revolve around it being bad to wave loaded guns around on deck).
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