Raimonda Modiano "Sameness or Difference? Historicist Readings of "The Rime of the
Things to Consider:
Types of Sacrifice (Sacred vs. Profane)
Slave Trade and Abolitionist Movement
What is Modiano's main subject? Specifically, is this an
"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" or about criticismof
Rime of the Ancient Mariner"? Explain.
What, then, is Modiano's central argument?
How does Modiano utilize secondary source discussion to
thesis? Provide specific examples of references to other sources.
Explain: "McGann's own project is entirely parallel to
See McGann's essay
Explain: "Coleridge's religious utterance . . . is so
shifting that any paradigm such as McGann's looks like a straight road
that conveniently bypasses the actual maze of Coleridge's thought"
Explain: "The focus of a historical method should
on the differences between time-bound and circumstance-bound
of view" (190).
What according to Modiano, is the significance of Keane's
How according to Modiano, is Keane's argument contradictory?
Why, according to Modiano, were relevations about human
Dahomey "a lucky find" for slave traders?
To what degree, according to Modiano, are Abel and Christ
What, according to Modiano, is Coleridge's most significant
of the Cain-Abel myth?
Explain: "Generalized violence, like an infernal God,
picks it victims and turns people into unwitting instruments of
. . . at such times the distinguishing boundaries between friends and
brothers and murderers disappears" (208).
Explain: "In killing the Albatross the Mariner
[the] very assumption of brotherly love and unity for which he finds no
immediate corroboration in the ice-bound and distinctly hostile
around him, nor for that matter did Coleridge find much evidence of it
in his world" (209).
Explain: "In any substitutive process the exchanged
a link with each other" (211).
Explain: "The presence in the poem of Christian
but it only heightens the pathos of an ideal that is irretrievably
as the substitution of the cross with the Albatross powerfully conveys"
Other Discussion Questions: 188:
Explain: "Coleridge himself, it turns out, composed a
specifically addressed the question of the cultural transmission and
of texts, by constructing a narrative with several textual layers and
frames" (188). Whose ideas are these?
What are "symbolist Christian hermeneutics" (189).
Explain: "It is only when works are perceived as truly
products that they become transhistorical" (191).
Explain: McGann "reads the poem in terms of a conventional
plot that writes despair out of the picture" (192).
What "two incontrovertible facts about the poem" does Empson
What problem(s) does Modiano have with Empson's argument?
Explain: "In interpretations of 'The Ancient Mariner'
may be related to an 'outside,' a 'psychology' to a 'history'" (195).
Explain the two types of guilt that Kitson sees at work in
Explain: "The French Revolution dealt a powerful blow to
ways of reading the universe in sacramental terms and rendered fragile
all romantic attempts at 'sacramentalizing' the 'natural--and
What two "conflicting perspectives on violence" account for
Explain: "It was not just the French Revolution, but
slave trade that put into circulation and gave new life to the paradigm
of sacrifice, fueling the Romantics' keen sense that rituals of human
were not a thing of the past, but a most distressing contemporary
What three contextual frameworks exist for the consideration
in Coleridge's poem?
What is a "foundation sacrifice" (202)?
What, according to Modiano, is the significance of Pierre
and Critical Dictionary'sentries on genii and demons?
In what way(s), according to Modiano, does the Mariner carry
Explain: "At the beginning of the poem there are
signs whatsoever of a sacramental unity of deity, man, and beast" (206).
What, according to Modiano, is the significance of the theme
to Coleridge's poem?
How, according to Modiano, does the Cain-Abel story connect
How, according to Modiano, are the Albatross and the Mariner
To what degree, according to Modiano, can the
To what degree, according to Modiano, can the Mariner be
Explain: "The Mariner himself is confronted with the
a live bird and a world with no other evidence of living creatures"
Explain: "The poem conveys a strong sense that
begin with the slaying of the Albatross but antecedes it" (213).
Explain: "The Mariner is stunned by his own act of
is disconnected from his self, and ultimately incomprehensible" (214).
How, according to Modiano, does the Mariner embody the