It’s a kind of magic

In this post I would like to talk about the meaning of the main characters of Coleridge’s “Rime”. The poem begins with the Ancient Mariner who stops one of three young guys, who seem to be going to a Wedding feast, to tell his moralizing tale. I have always wondered why  Coleridge had named that character Wedding Guest rather than, I don’t know….The Student, The Lover or like stereotyped characters we’ve read about. What is the cathegory of the Wedding Guest Like?  What does a Wedding Guest do? Well, I guess a Wedding Guest loves parties, noise, people. He enjoys good food and drinks and since he attends matrimonies he needs nice fancy clothes. It seems to be a man who has singled out as his only values those typical of our contemporary materialistic society. He actually enjoys the feast of life. And he is young. His youth makes him arrogant. He despises the man who has dared stop him, because is old, shabby :”Hold off! Unhand me! Grey beard loon” he shouts. But the Mariner, who stands for the poet himself, doesn’t give in. Despite his age and apparent weakness he holds him with ” his glittering eye” and forces him to listen to his story. He wants to accomplish his task, that is elevating the soul of the Wedding Guest and ours at the same time, because he represents us, by means of poetry. So poetry is that spell , that pure energy, that can make worlds apparently different meet, communicate and and eventually grow as it will actually happen at the end of the ballad. Poetry is a kind of magic.


2 thoughts on “It’s a kind of magic

  1. It ‘s all true. I really like this poem and if I can, when I think the Ancient Mariner who seeks the attention of the young guy, I remember the figure of my grandfather when he tries to give me advices or tries to tell me some of his experiences.. It ‘s a beautiful image. My grandfather is the ancient mariner and I’m The Wedding Guest.. Well, I don’t think I fully represent a Wedding Guest because I do not like to drink and certainly I don’t respond in an arrogant way to my grandfather, or any elder .. But I wonder: Why did the boy respond so arrogantly? Maybe because he was with his friends and wanted to prove to be stronger than an old man? Yes, the young man is arrogant towards the old man but in the end who won? The old man did..Unfortunately, young people are arrogant and I think they do it just to feel great in front of their friends. In fact when they are no longer in company of their friends, young people return to behave childishly because that’s what they still are, children. 🙂

    • You are right, but I would like to add from my adult point of view, that is the lack of awareness that makes young people weak and safe only in the herd…with few exceptions 🙂

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