Here is the answer and explanation to the question What does the albatross stand for? Why did the ancient mariner kill it without any reason?
What does the albatross stand for? Why did the ancient mariner kill it without any reason?
It is always hard to find an exact and unique correspondence for symbols in literature. This is further complicated in Coleridge’s case because, as the author explained in his Biographia Literaria, the Ancient Mariner was composed with the view that “the incidents and agents were to be, in part at least, supernatural”. In traditional readings of the poem, the albatross is taken as a symbol of Christ and thus its killing becomes a crime of unthinkable proportions. The sailors significantly refer to the Albatross as a “Christian soul”.
As you say in your question, the mariner has no reason to kill the bird and his act is completely gratuitous. Yet, it has terrible consequences not only for the mariner but for the entire crew as it subverts the natural order and creates a world dominated by death.
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