The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is one of the most influential and impressive poems in the English language. As a great poem for understanding clearlythe fundamental concepts of sin and repentance, Coleridge is stating the general idea and insight into life that it presents.
To some extent, the theme of this poem is closely related to Christianity and God; when the Ancient Mariner killed the Albatross, he sinned against both nature and God. Having killed the bird without any reasons, the Ancient Mariner had showed his rude disrespect to the nature. He might have the thought that human was the best and the highest form of creation and that the animals were beneath them, so hesingle-handedly gave himself the right to kill this innocent creature. That is why he is punished until he realizes that what he did was wrong and he should be respectful towards the beauty of the nature.
Nature is Gods creation; therefore, when people interact with nature in any way, they also interact with God. Everyone must respect all of Gods creatures, including animals, it is the way for people to show their respect for God the Creator. Mankind are equal to all creatures in the world; if they do anything wrong to others, they will have to pay for their sins.
The Ancient Mariner has to tell his story to a person whom he thinks that person needs to listen to his story. This is the ever-lasting punishment for what he has done to the Albatross, it is also a way to redeem him from his sin if he is truly repentant. However, the poem illustrates that nature is very powerful and beautiful, it is much more greater than people can comprehend; the loveliness of nature should be appreciated by all people.
Symbolism is very important to this poem because it signifies the authors great ideas and also gives the poem a much deeper meaning. In The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the Albatross is symbolic of both luckiness and curse. At first, the Albatross seemed like it appeared as a good luck that caused a wind to blow the ship to make it move. Then when the Ancient Mariner killed it, the Albatross became the symbol of his disrespect and foolish crime; moreover, by hanging the Albatross on the Mariners neck, it represented as the reminder of his sin for the Mariner.
As a symbol of sin, it is compared to the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. The Albatross is like the innocent Christ, who did nothing wrong but still died for humans sin and human will have to pay for his own sin. The bird was bringing luck to the sailors to save them so the Mariner was extremely cruel when he killed it for no reason; therefore, the Ancient Mariner had to suffer because killing the Albatross is a sin that he had committed.