Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Paul H. Fry Introduction
Terms to Know/Explain:
"alleged timeservers" (4)
"authentic disjointedness" (16)
"structural flaccidity" (16)
"willing suspension of disbelief" (17)
What is the intended audience of this introduction? Which
suggest the identity of Fry's anticipated reader?
Why, according to Fry, doesn't Coleridge consider himself
foremost a poet" (5)?
Why was Coleridge considered a spy?
What, according to Coleridge, was the originally intended
the Lyrical Ballads collection?
Why is the publication of Lyrical Ballads "considered
the most important turning points in English literary history"
How and why did Wordsworth disrespect the "Rime"?
Explain: "Even in its earliest versions the poem is an
amalgam of voices
in subtle discord" (17).
How in the "Rime" does wisdom stand "apart from the sacrament
and indeed from all the forms of rooted community" (17).
How does Coleridge's narrator deflect "interest away from
Explain: "The oral and the literary-historical
with each other" (18).
Explain: "Their joint enterprise did not encompass the
of the 'Rime'" (19).
Explain: "At the very least, then, the Mariner must be said
violated the spirit, the nature, of something that is larger
than it appears
to be" (21).
What might the crossbow "mean" literally, symbolically, and
Explain: "The Mariner's moral, in other words, only makes
sense as the
outcome of a complex rite of passage that the conventionally
imagination never undergoes" (22).
Explain: "The constraints of the ballad genre, even loosely
let Coleridge down" (23).
Explain: "It is in handling the moral, in sum, that
ability to harmonize the literary and the oral devices of his
the identification of the reader with the Wedding Guest,
short at last" (23).
In this idea originated
plan of the 'Lyrical Ballads'; in which it was agreed, that my
should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at
romantic, yet so as to transfer from our inward nature a human
and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows
that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which
poetic faith. Mr. Wordsworth on the other hand was to propose to
as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things of every
to excite a feeling analogous to the supernatural, by awakening
attention from the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the
and the wonders of the world before us; an inexhaustible
for which in consequence of the film of familiarity and selfish
we have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear not, and hearts that
feel nor understand. (STC, Biographia Literaria,