Monday, February 22, 2010

Isolation, the Mariner, and the Haunted Beach

In reading a little bit of background information about these poems, I learned that the "Shipwreck'd Mariner" of Mary Robinson's "The Haunted Beach" is understood to be the ancient mariner of Coleridge's poem. I found this not only to be interesting, but also to provide vital insight into the meaning of Robinson's work. In particular, the connection more clearly explains the role of isolation in "The Haunted Beach." In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," the mariner's shipmates are killed and he is isolated on the ship as a result of his killing the albatross - "O Wedding-guest this soul hath been / Alone on a wide wide sea: / So lonely 'twas, that God himself / Scarce seemed there to be." As a result of his sin, the mariner is doomed to roam and tell his tale in a life of psychological isolation. Robinson continues the idea of isolation in her poem by placing the "murder'd mariner" in a lone shed on a haunted beach, doomed to rot without every being buried. In this way, I think that Robinson is almost trying to pick up the story where Coleridge left off - and she ends it by continuing the isolation in death that the mariner was forced to suffer in life

No comments:

Post a Comment