""God save thee, ancient Mariner!
If there's one phrase to take away from this poem, it's "albatross around the neck." Let us explain:
Have you ever done something stupid and it was stupid at the time? It's one thing to mess up because you haven't thought through the consequences of your action. It's quite another to think, "Yeah, if I do this, it's going to cause huge problems for me, and I'm going to wish I hadn't done it, but ."
Maybe your parents said that if you went out a certain night you'd be grounded for a month, but you decide to do it anyway, knowing full well that your parents will find out, and it totally won't be worth it. That's a trivial example. How about if a close friend or family member tries to help you, and for no apparent reason, you do something nasty that drives them away? That's more like it.
The Mariner's act of shooting the albatross (that had once brought good luck to his ship) is the mother of irrational, self-defeating acts. He never offers a good explanation for why he does it, and his crewmates get so upset that they hang the dead albatross around his neck as a burden, so he won't forget what he did. To have an albatross around your neck is to have a constant reminder of a big mistake you made. Instead of the gift that keeps on giving, it's the blunder that keeps on taking. As in, "I spent all my money on that motorcycle because I thought it would be cool, but now I can't sell it, and it's too expensive to maintain. That thing is just an albatross around my neck."
Not in the poem The Rime of Ancient Mariner.
It is highly unlikely anyone could claim an understanding of the events told by the Ancient Mariner—the reader today, as well as in Coleridge’s time is akin to the man in the wedding party, listening to the Mariner’s tale with a mix of horror, astonishment and disbelief....
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay
The Ancient Mariner was believed to symbolize four characters; the first one simply being he, the old man. Since he is already old and already experienced a lot during his lifetime, he has the role of imparting what he has learned to the young. The second character he plays is a Christian sinner. We can remember that the Ancient Mariner killed an albatross. Since then, he believed that it was the reason of his misfortune and that it was the reason why he became unhappy. There is also the belief that the Mariner symbolizes a poet. Since he was able to see beyond things that a normal person could, he could communicate it to others through his story. And the last, he was believed to symbolize a mother. The reason for this is the repeated connection to conventionally female things like the sea, motherhood, irrationality, spontaneity and nature.