The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English
Question 1. Look at the picture carefully and answer the questions given below:
(i) What can you see in the picture? Does the man look happy? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer This picture reveals lots Of things about ‘the man. Actually, the man does not look happy in the picture. He looks as if he is regretful Of action Of his because he is holding his hand to h’s forehead. He has a dead bird hanging form his neck, which is not a happy situation. His shoulders bowed down and his facial expressions show that he is not happy.
(ii) Why does he have the bird hanging around his neck?
Answer In the picture, the man has the bird hanging around his neck. It is a symbol of the burden of a wrong deed he must have Committed.
(iii) Have you heard of the expression-‘having an Albatross around your neck’? What do you think it means? Does it mean
(a) something that you can always be proud of.
(b) something that you have to do because you have no choice.
(c) something that is with you all the time as a reminder that you have done something wrong.
Answer Yes, I have heard of the expression-having an Albatross around your neck’. It means something that is with you all the time as a reminder that you have done something wrong
(iv) What is an Albatross?
Answer Albatrosses are among the largest flying sea birds. They are found in the Southern Ocean and North pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic. Albatrosses have the largest wingspans, large heads, hooked bills, White body, long neck, short legs and short tails. Albatrosses are best observed during rough weather, when high waves create strong uplifting air currents enabling them to remain aloft with hardly a wing beat for hours on end. They are believed to be good omens but hurting or killing the bird brings a curse on you.
Question 3. Using the words given above rewrite Part I of the poem in your own words. The first stanza has been done as an example.
It is an ancient Mariner,
and he stoppeth one of there.
‘By thy long grey beard and
now wherefore stopp’st thou me?
An old sailor stopped one of the three people passing by, who asked “Old man, with your long grey beard and glittering eye, why are you stopping me?
Answer The old sailor stops one of three wedding-guests The sailor has a long grey bearded and glittering eyes. The wedding-guest asks him why he has been stopped. The bridegroom’s home doors are wide open to welcome guests. The wedding guest tells that he is a close relative of the bridegroom- The guests have reached. The feast is set The joyful noise can be heard. The old sailor holds the wedding-guest with his skinny hand- He says. “There was a ship”. The wedding-guest says, “Hey, grey bearded madman leave my hand”. The old sailor/at once dropped his hand, but held the wedding-guest with his shining eyes. The guest stood still. He listened to the sailor’s story like a three-year child. The old sailors will prevailed and he continued his story.
The old sailor holds the wedding-guest with his skinny hand- He says. “There was a ship”. The wedding-guest says, “Hey, grey bearded madman leave my hand”. The old sailor/at once dropped his hand, but held the wedding-guest with his shining eyes. The guest stood still. He listened to the sailor’s story like a three-year child. The old sailors will prevailed and he continued his story The ship was given a warm send-off from the harbor. The sailors went happily past the side of the Church, the hill and the lighthouse. The Sun came up from the left side out of the sea. ‘t shone up brightly in the sky. It set into the sea on the right ‘n the evening, As they traveled, every day the Sun went higher and higher till it was overhead at noon, The wedding-guest beat his breast because he heard the bassoon being played, signifying that the bride had come into the hall. She was as red as a rose, The singers and musicians went before her, shaking their heads. The wedding-guest became very impatient and restless. But he had no option other than to hear the bright eyed old sailor, who continued It his story a violent storm came up the sea. It was very strong and cruel.
It attacked the ship like it had wings and had overtaken it with force. It followed the ship towards the South. The ship’ masts sloped and front part dipped into the sea. travelled like a ship which IS chased by an enemy. It had bent its head. The ship drove fast and the storm roared fearfully. The ship was driven to the South.
There they came across fog and snow, It became very cold. Ice as high as the mast carne floating near. It looked as green as emerald. The moving parts of the icebergs and their snowy steep sides gave out a sad brightness. They didn’t see any men or beasts on the land nearby. The was everywhere and all around. t cracked, grumbled, cried and roared like noises in a fainting fit, At last an Albatross came to the ship through the fog. The sailors welcomed it in God’s name as if it had been a Christian soul.
The Albatross ate the food which the sailors gave flew round and round the ship. The ice spit with a great sound. The person steering the ship drove the ship through. There Started a good South wind, The Albatross followed the ship. It came to the ship everyday either for food, or for playing The Albatross sat on the mast or the ships rail in misty or cloudy weather. It came at 9 pm everyday and sat on the edge. The white moonlight shone through fog all the night.
The wedding-guest was frightened by the look the sailor’s face. He called God to save the old sailor from the devils which were troubling him. He asked the sailor why he looked like this. The sailor replied that he had shot the Albatross with his cross-bow,
Question 4. Answer the following by choosing the right option from those given below
(a) The ancient Mariner stopped one of the three wedding guests
(i) he wanted to attend the wedding with him
(ii) he wanted him to sit with him
(iii) he wanted him to listen to his story
(iv) he wanted to stop him from going to the wedding
(b) The wedding-guest remarked that he was ‘next of kin’ which
(i) he had a close relation Of the bridegroom
(ii) he had a close relation of the bride
(iii) he was standing next in line to get married
(iv) he had to stand next to the bridegroom during the
(c) ‘He cannot choose but hear’ means
(i) The mariner was forced to hear the story Of the wedding guest
(ii) the wedding guest wag forced to hear the story Of the mariner
(iii) The mariner had the choice Of riot Listening to the story Of the
(iv) The wedding guest had the choice Of not listening to the story of
(d) ‘The Sun came up upon the left,/Out of the sea came he’. This
line tells us that the ship
(i) was moving in the Northern direction
(ii) was moving Eastwards
(iii) was moving in the Western direction
(iv) was moving towards the South
(e) The wedding guest beat his breast because
(i) he could hear the sound of the bassoon
(ii) he was forced to listen to the Mariner’s tale when he wanted to
attend the wedding
(iii) the sound of the bassoon meant that the bride had arrived and the
wedding ceremony was about to begin and he could not attend it
(iv) the sound of the bassoon announced the arrival of’ the bride and
the start Of the wedding ceremony
(f) The storm blast has been described as being tyrannous because
(i) it was so fierce that it frightened the sailors
(ii) it took complete control of the ship
(iii) the storm was very powerful the sailors were at its mercy
(f) The storm blast has been described as being tyrannous because
(i) it was so fierce that it frightened the sailors
(ii) it took complete control of the ship
(iii) the storm was very powerful
(iv) the sailors were at its mercy
(g) The sailors felt depressed on reaching the land of mist and
(i) there was no sign Of any living creature
(ii) they felt they would die in that cold weather
(iii) they were surrounded by icebergs and there seemed to be no sign Of
(iv) everything Was grey in colour and they felt very cold
(h) The sailors were happy to see the albatross because
(i) it was the first sign Of life and therefore gave them hope that they might survive
(ii) it split the icebergs around the ship and helped the ship move forward
(iii) it was a messenger from God and it lifted the fog and mist
(vi) it gave them hope Of survival by splitting the icebergs
(i) The two things that happened after arrival of the albatross
(i) the Icebergs split and the albatross became friendly with the sailors
(ii) the icebergs split and a strong breeze started blowing
(iii) the ship was pushed out Of land Of mist and the ice melted
(iv) the albatross started playing with the mariners and ate the food
(j) It perched for vespers nine’ means
(i) the ship stopped sailing at nine O’clock every day
(ii) the albatross would appear at a fixed time everyday
(iii) the albatross would sit on the sail Or the mast everyday
(iv) the albatross was a holy creature
(k) ‘God save thee, ancient Mariner/From the fiends that plague thee thus! why look’ st thou so?’ means
(i) the mariner wanted to know why the wedding guest was looking so tormented
(ii) the Wedding guest wanted to know why the mariner was looking so tormented
(iii) the wedding guest wanted to know whether some creatures were troubling the ancient mariner
(iv) the ancient mariner wanted to know whether something was troubling the wedding guest
Question 5. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) How did the ancient mariner stop the wedding guest?
AnswerThe ancient mariner holds the wedding guest with his skinny hand and shining eyes.
(b) Was the wedding-guest happy to be stopped? Given reasons for your answer.
Answer No, he was not happy. He was next to kin of the bridegroom. He wished to join the wedding ceremony.
(c) Describe the ancient mariner.
AnswerThe ancient mariner looks a fearful person. He has skinny hands, glittering eyes and a long grey beard. He is the central figure in the poem. By appearance he looks like a mad person. He holds the wedding guest by hand force fully when the fit Of narrating his story Of adventures is on him.
(d) How does the mariner describe the movement of the Ship as it sails away from the land?
AnswerThe ship was given a warm send-Off from the harbour, The mariners went happily by the side Of the church, the hill and the lighthouse.
(e) What kind of weather did the sailors enjoy at the beginning of their journey? How has it been expressed in the poem?
AnswerThe sailors enjoyed fair weather in the beginning of the journey, This is indirectly expressed. starting from line 22 and going on till line 30_ It has been expressed in a happy manner, as in line 22, it says. ‘Merrily did we drop…”. This shows that they were happy with the progress Of the journey.
(f) How did the sailors reach the land of mist and snow?
The sailors left the harbour in good weather, and sailed South for many days. Then the weather changed and they were driven towards the South by a storm. There they surrounded by mist and snow, and by ice as high as the mast Of their ship. Soon, their ship was completely trapped in ice.
(g) How does the mariner express the fact that the ship was completely surrounded by icebergs?
The mariner describes this from line 53 onwards upto line 62 in a very picturesque manner by using phrases “ice, mast high, came floating by, “as green as emerald” (meaning that the was reflecting the colour of the sea), “and through tre drifts the difts”, “the ice was all between,” “the ice was here. the ice was there, the ice was all around” and “it crackled and growled, and roared and howled”
(h) How do we know that the albatross was not afraid Of the humans? Why did the sailors hail it in God’s name?
Answer One day, the albatross came on the ship through the fog. When sailors called it, it came and ate food. Thus, it was not afraid of the humans. The sailors hailed in God’s name because it was the only living creature they had seen since they reached the sea full Of ice. The albatross seemed to be a representative of God there.
(i) What was the terrible deed done by the mariner? Why you think he did it?
AnswerMariner has shot the Albatross with his cross-bow. He shot it due to some reason which he does not know h himself.
Question 6. There are a number of literary devices used in the poem. Some of them have been listed below. Choose the right ones and write them down in the table as shown in 118 the example. In each of the casses explain what they mean?
Questions 7: In groups Of four discuss what think happens next in the poem? Share your views with the rest of the class.
AnswerVarious answers may be given. A sample answer below With the crew suffering on an idle ship. a deadly calm deprived the ship of the Wind its sails need. After a few days, another ship arrives â€” but this ship is moving without any wind. The strange vessel moves between the sailors and the sun, probably prophesying what is to come. Surprisingly, the sailors can still see the sun for the ship is a ghost-ship! When the ship gets close to them, the ancient mariner sees that the ghost ship has no crew. but only two figures, “Death” and a woman. The woman is gambling with “Death” over the soul of the doomed ancient mariner. The woman wins, meaning that Death will not take him, though it seems that Death gets to take the rest Of the crew. The woman only takes-the ancient mariner: under a “star-dogged moon. (a crescent moon With a star by the tip, a universally recognized evil omen). All the crew perishes, but the ancient manner is denied the relief of death.
Question 8. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) In which direction did the ship start moving? How can you say?
AnswerThe mariner’s ship was now sailing North. This can be seen by the statement that the sun rose on the right (East) and went down in the sea on the left (West).
(b) Why does the Mariner say that’ no sweet bird did follow?
Answer The sweet albatross was shot by the ancient mariner and so no “sweet bird” was following them.
(c) How did the other Mariners behave towards the ancient Mariner at first? How many times did they change their mind about the ancient Mariner? What does this tell us about their character?
Answer Initially the sailors firmly criticized the mariner for killing the albatross. as it “made the breeze to blow’. Later on, when the sun is shining and the mist evaporates. the crew expresses approval of the mariner for killing the bird “that bring the fog and mist”. Again, near the end of the poem, when there is no breeze blowing and the ship does not move, the crew hangs the albatross round the mariners neck, implying that the killing of the albatross has brought them bad luck. Thus, the crew changes its mind twice about the mariner killing the albatross. This shows that the crew’s character is shallow and fickle-minded; they only praise actions which are seen to be Of advantage to them
(d) How did the sailing condition change after the ship had moved out of the land of mist and snow? What or who did the Mariners blame for this change?
Answer The breeze stopped blowing. The soils Of the ship dropped down. It was as sad as it could be. The sailors blamed on the shooting Of the albatross.
(e) What is indicated by the line The bloody Sun, at noon,/Right up above the mast did stand,/No bigger than the Moon’?
Answer This line clearly indicates that something ominous will happen soon. The weather has become unbearably hot, It may even threaten the lives of the sailors. as there was no breeze and the ship was at a standstill.
(f) How does the Mariner describe the act that they were completely motionless in the middle of the sea?
Answer Day after day. day after day, We struck, nor breath, nor motion As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean.
(g) What is the irony in the ninth stanza? Explain it in your own words.
Answer There was water everywhere (seawater, Which cannot be drunk). But there was no drop Of water which they could drink, as their supply Of fresh water was exhausted. This shows the irony.
(h) What is the narrator trying to convey through the description of the situation in the tenth and eleventh stanza?
Answer The narrator is trying to convey that the ocean itself begins to rot, and the sailors see many disturbing sights. Probably he wants to say that due to dehydration. the sailors are seeing hallucinations and Will die soon if they do not get fresh water,
(i) What or who did the Mariners feel was responsible for their suffering?
The fellow mariners feel that ancient Mariners shooting Of the Albatross was responsible for their sufferings
(j) Describe the condition of the Mariners as expressed in the thirteenth stanza.
Answer The tongues Of the Mariners were withered through ack Of water. They could speak no more and felt as if their throats were choked with soot.
(k) Why did the Mariners hang the Albatross around the neck of
the ancient Mariner?
Answer Since they felt that he was responsible for their problems, they hung the dead Albatross around his neck as a sign Of his guilt.
Question 9: Like part one, the second part also has a number of literary devices. List them out in the same way as you had done in question number seven and explain them.
Question 10. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
Answer The rhyme scheme is ‘abcb’ in four line stanzas. However. in six line stanzas, there is a slight variation. It is either ab c b d b or a aa b c b.
Question 13. Every ship is supposed to have a leg book, which is filled in every day by the captain. If he dies, the next senior officer fills it in (usually the First Mate). Decide on appropriate dates (the Mariner’s tale was supposed to be thought of as already old when the poem was published: it should be no later about AD 1700; other clues to the date are the light-house and the Mariner’s crossbow).
If you wish you can make the log look old by staining the pages, by your 122 handwriting and spelling. Write a series of entries for the log for the important events that take place in the ship as recorded in the poem. The first one has been done as an example AD 1701 Today we left the shore at 3.30 pm under glorious sailing conditions. We have 230 men on board. We are sailing with cargo towards Portugal. The journey is expected to take 90 days. We are well stocked with food and water to last us 250 days in case of any emergency. Hopefully we will not face any untoward God be with us! You could also do this as an oral activity, recording the entries on audio tape and using voice effects and other sound effects if you can.
Question 14. In your groups discuss the following.
(i) Why did the ancient mariner stop the particular wedding guest to listen to his tale?
(ii) Why did he have to tell his tale to someone?
(iii) What is the poet trying to convey through this poem?
Answer Do it yourself. Points for the discussion are given below:
(i) The ancient mariner stopped the first person he met, as he was under a supernatural spell to relate his tale Of guilt and repentance to anyone he saw when the spell was on him. Probably this wedding guest was accidentally in front of him when this fit came on.
(ii) The curse Of the spirit protecting the albatross was on him and it he did not tell his tale to whoever he saw, he would be Cursed for life. By narrating his tale, probably the spirit was trying to ensure that Other people do not repeat the action Of the ancient mariner.
(iii) The poet conveys through this poem that all living beings. whether they are humans, animals, birds or any Other, are God’s creatures. NO one has the right to take the life Of any creature. Since the mariner had killed the albatross arbitrarily. he must suffer for his action. He will be freed from his torment only by narrating his tale to all whom he meets.