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A sadder and wiser Man


In this passage the story ends, the mariner greets the wedding guest, who is sad, because he couldn't attend the wedding feast and because he has been listening to a very sad story, but the following day he wakes up feeling wiser, he has understood the moral aim of this story. The wedding guest understands that evil's consequences fall on the others, indeed both the old sailor and his crew suffer punishment.
There is no rational explanation to evil, indeed the ancient mariner kills the albatross for no reason.

Every element in this ballad has a connotative meaning: the ship, along with the crew is seen as mankind, while the ship alone is the symbol of the human body. The voyage can be identified with life. The further symbols of this ballad are both parabolic, religious and ethical, such as the killing of the albatross can be seen as the original sin and as the break of the pact of love and respect to nature; while the albatross can be seen as Jesus Christ, the innocent victim. Moreover the sun and the ice are only ethical and romantic symbols: the sun is benign, because it provides light and warmth, therefore life; lastly the ice, which is green and howls and growls like a savage beast, is dangerous, frightening and powerful, so it symbolises the sublime and the power of nature.
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