Comparison Of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner And Frankenstein

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  In relation to Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, there are many points of similarity between both reality and the stories portrayed in Shelley’s novel and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge’s literary work has performed as an out-of-this-world supply of influence for Shelley and is thought in her life. Fascinatingly, Frankenstein and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner have several similarities.

Firstly, the major similarity is the main characters. Victor Frankenstein, an extremely intelligent man, is the main character of the novel Frankenstein. Interestingly, in the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a man, similar to Victor, is the main character. Weirdly enough, both the characters have problems with knowledge. The fact that knowledge ruined both of the characters’ lives, connects them even more. In order to be alone for his work, Victor travels a number of times throughout the story. Once he starts creating the monster he becomes extraordinarily unsociable. Victor makes himself isolate by spending a massive amount of time on his creation. Also, the Mariner is extremely lonely and isolated because all his shipmates die, and he is left alone. This is portrayed when the Mariner tells the wedding guest “O wedding-guest! This soul hath been Alone on a wide wide sea: So lonely ’twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be.” Intriguingly, the Mariner becomes a mysterious and bizarre man and Victor goes mad. They both end up being lost and start struggling. On page 132, Victor says “No one can conceive the anguish I suffered during the remainder of the night, which I spent, cold and wet, in the open air.” This quote talks about how miserable Victor really is. Comparing these two men, one can clearly see how similar they are.

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Another main point of similarity is the narrative techniques. Foreshadowing is a major narrative technique that both writers used. Foreshadowing is when writers provide a hint of what is to come later within the story. In Frankenstein, Shelley uses foreshadowing on page 165 in paragraph 1: “The wind which had fallen in the south, now rose with great violence in the west. The moon had reached her summit in the heavens and was beginning to descend; the clouds swept across it swifter than the flight of the vulture… suddenly a heavy storm of rain descended.” This quote is extremely important because Shelley canvasses the moon, every time before Frankenstein’s monster appears. An example of foreshadowing in The Rome of the Ancient Mariner is when the wedding guest is informed that the Mariner shot the albatross. The narrator asks, “Why look’st thou so?” in line 80, part 1. This foreshadows to the readers, the consequences of the mariner’s actions. Another example in Frankenstein was, “Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.” In this quote, Victor repeatedly foreshadows the tragic events which will later return. In both stories, when good things happen, it foreshadows bad things. Foreshadowing is used by both authors successfully and distributes an idea that draws the readers in by developing a voice of mystery.

Intriguingly, the last main similarity is the creation of life. In Frankenstein, Victor puts life into a lifeless body. In other words, he brought a corpse back to life, which is unbelievable. Victor said on page 224, “Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant, but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property.” Similarly, the sailors in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” were killed then incredibly, brought back to life. In both of these stories, the revived life becomes a curse that later haunts the main characters for the remainder of their lives’.

To summarize, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Frankenstein are different but have many similarities. This may be a hard concept to grasp at first but once analyzing both documents, it makes a lot of sense. There are many quotes and inferences in Frankenstein that are directly linked to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.   


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