The Gothic Appropriation in S.T. Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

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Choedphong Uttama

Abstract

This paper employs Michael Gamer’s argument in Romanticism and the Gothic (2006) to interpret various Gothic elements in Samuel T. Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Gamer argues that Romantic poets, in order to gain wide readership and money and to avoid critical aspersions, attempted to appropriate the materials associated with Gothic writing. These poets, while writing negative critical reviews of Gothic works, composed Gothicised poems or poems with Gothic elements and discourses. Coleridge, like other major Romantic writers, saw the necessity for carefully appropriating the popular conventions associated with the Gothic, and “The Rime” is an example of his attempt at this Gothic appropriation. The poem is characterised by Coleridge’s attempt to incorporate various supernatural elements by presenting them as acceptably as possible.

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