Read the following extracts and answer the questions.
(1) “The bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin
The guests are met, the feast is set :
May’st hear the merry din”.
(a) Who is next of kin?
Ans : The wedding guest is next of kin.
(b) Why is the wedding guest helpless and restless?
Ans : He is eager to join the wedding party.
(c) What does ‘merry din’ refer to?
Ans : The noise of celebration and festivities.
(2) “He holds him with his glittering eye
The wedding guest stood still
And listens like a three-year old child
The mariner hath his will”.
(a) Why does the mariner hold him?
Ans : The wedding guest is reluctant to listen to the mariner.
(b) Explain the figure of speech in line 3.
Ans : Simile
(c) What is the mariner’s will?
Ans : The mariner wants to hold the guest and relate his tales of misery.
(3) The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill
Below the light-house top.
(a) On what note does the journey begin?
Ans : The journey begins with optimism and cheering.
(b) What sights were seen on the way?
Ans : They saw a hill, a lighthouse when the ship cleared from the harbour.
(c) Discuss the use of ‘kirk’. What effect does it create?
Ans : It is an archaic word for ‘church’. It gives the poem the flavour of a traditional ballad.
(4) And now the storm-blast came and he
was tyrannous and strong
He struck with his o’ertaking wings
And chased us south along.
(a) Identify the figure of speech in line 1 and 3.
Ans : The storm-blast is personified as a bird with powerful wings.
(b) Explain “overtaking wings” and “tyrannous”.
Ans : It means powerful wings that create a horrifying effect.
(c) How does the storm affect the ship?
Ans : The ship was driven towards the south.
(5) With sloping masts and dipping prow
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe.
(a) Identify the figure of speech and explain it.
Ans : It is simile and the poet says that the masts ofthe ship were bent and its prow dipped into the sea.
(b) Explain - the last line
Ans : The ship looked like a person, whose head isbent, as if he is escaping an enemy.
(c) What does the description of the ship sailing suggest about the state of mind of the sailors on it?
Ans : The sailors were very confused and frightened.
(6) At length did cross an Albatross,
Through the fog it come;
As if it had been a Christian soul
We hailed it in God’s name.
[C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
(a) Explain – ‘did cross an Albatross’.
Ans : An Albatross appeared near the ship.
(b) Why was the albatross hailed as a Christian soul?
Ans : It was hailed as a Christian soul because it brought hope like Jesus.
(c) What blessings did the albatross bring?
Ans : It appeared to be like a good omen and ushered in hope.
(7) “God save thee, ancient Mariner
From the friends, that plague thee thus !
Why look’st thou so?” with my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross”
(a) Identify the speaker of the first two lines.
Ans : The wedding guest speaks these lines.
(b) What has been the speaker compelled to do?
Ans : The wedding guest has been forced to hear the mariner’s tale of sin and suffering.
(c) What was the Mariner’s crime? Why did he do so?
Ans : The mariner’s crime was killing of the albatross for no reason.
(8) The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew
The furrow followed free
We were the first that ever burst
Into the silent sea
(a) Discuss the poetic device in the first two lines. Discuss the effect created.
Ans : Alliteration and repetition enhances the poetic and musical effect.
(b) Explain – the furrow followed free.
Ans : ‘Furrow’ is used as a metaphor, it means a groove that is made while ploughing the fields. The waves make this kind of pattern in the water and ship moves smoothly.
(c) What happened when the sailors reached there?
Ans : They were trapped and stuck in a silent and lonely part of the sea.
(9) Day after day, day after day
We struck, nor breath nor motion,
As idle as a painter ship
Upon a painted ocean.
(a) Why are the words repeated in the first sentence? Discuss their effect.
Ans : The repetition conveys a sheer length of time that passed.
(b) Who were struck and where?
Ans : The ship and sailors of the ancient mariner’s ship were struck in the middle of the silent sea.
(c) What effect does the literary device of the last line create?
Ans : The last line is a simile and it pictorially describes a becalmed ship on a still ocean.
(10) About, about, in reel and rout
The death fires danced at night
The water, like a witches oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
(a) Explain – ‘reel’ and ‘rout’.
Ans : ‘Reel’ and ‘rout’ are dance movements and here they describe the circulatory motion of the fires.
(b) What do the death fires represent
Ans : They represent the evil forces or death.
(c) Discuss the simile given in the last two lines.
Ans : The reference is to Shakespeare’s three witches of Macbeth. The water seems to be sparkling with different colours. This is an element of supernaturalism.
SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
1. Why is the albatross greeted like a ‘Christian soul’? What relationship is forged between the albatross and the crew of the ship? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : The albatross is welcomed as a good omen, like the grace of Lord Jesus. The sailors are very happy to welcome and feed him for he is the only sign of life that they have seen. Its arrival also coincides with the blowing of the south-wind, which makes the ship sail. The bird is great company for all the sailors. It fills the crew with luck and hope. That is why the bird is called ‘a Christian soul’.
2. What situation did the mariners face in the land of snow and ice?
Ans : The ship is cheered and the journey begins on an optimistic note. But soon the ship is caught in a violent storm and trapped. It is tossed on high waves and the sailors have great difficulty in controlling it under the effect of the stormy blast, the ship is driven to the south, which is the land of snow and mist and wondrously cold. There are no men, no sign of life. All they see is ice and ice around them.
3. The crew of the ship demonstrate double standards and they have contradictory ethical values. Bring out the truth of this statement by giving examples from the poem.
Ans : Initially the albatross is welcomed and called a ‘Christian soul’. It is loved and petted. The sailors believe that the bird has brought luck and south wind. When the\ mariner kills the albatross, the sailors condemn this killing. When the weather improves and no mishap follows, they start blaming the bird for the fog and the mist and justify its killing. They become party to the sin, so they also undergo great suffering like the ancient mariner.
4. Describe the encounter between the ancient mariner and the wedding guest. How does the wedding guest react?
Ans : The Wedding Guest is forcibly detained by the mariner, who is in no mood to listen to his tale of ‘woe’ and misery. The Wedding Guest calls the mariner crazy and mad but the mariner holds the guest’s hand tightly. The wedding begins and the guest beats his breast but the glittering eyes of the mariner mesmerise him. Later the guest is also involved in this extraordinary story and by the strangeness of the mariner.
5. ‘We stuck, nor breath nor motion:
As idle as a painted ship
upon a painted ocean;’
Discuss how the ship came to be stuck and the problems faced by the crew.
What were the sufferings undergone by the mariners in the silent see. [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : The ancient mariner and his crew were stuck in the middle of the silent sea. For a long time the sailor’s ship was stuck and there was no air or motion that could move the ship. The crew were in a state of sheer helplessness and the ship looked just like a painting. Initially south wind had driven the ship but suddenly the favourable wind stopped blowing and they were pushed towards a silent sea.
6. What happened when the ship sailed into the silent sea?
Ans : The ship was moving calmly and smoothly and they came across the silent sea. The wind stopped blowing, the sails dropped. There was an eerie silence broken only by the talk of the sailors. The sky looked like heated copper. The sun looked red hot like blood. The ship did not move at all and remained stuck like a picture of a ship.
7. ‘Though the consequences of sin are equally borne by the crew, it is the ancient mariner alone, who has to face the brunt of punishment.’ How?
Why did the fellow mariners hang the albatross around the mariner’s neck? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : The albatross was shot dead for no reason by the ancient mariner. The bird had been hailed, loved and welcomed. So to punish the mariner, the dead albatross is hung around his neck as a sign of eternal damnation. Later due to problems, the bird is cursed. Basically the sailors are fickle-minded who are hasty in punishment, though they also become party to the sin and suffer evil consequences.
8. Justify the title of the poem ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’
Ans : ‘Rime’ means ‘Rhyme’, a poem or a song. Ancient means old, strange or something pertaining to far-off times. The poem has some references to outdated beliefs and practices. The poet has also used some archaic words to make the poem look ancient. The poem deals with the tale of the ancient mariner and all the actions, description relate to the ancient mariner’s tale.
9. The sailors are fickle-minded. Justify the statement with reference to the poem. [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : The sailors are very fickle-minded. First they welcomed the albatross and considered him as a blessing and a good omen, which had caused the ice to split and the breeze to below. Later they think that the albatross was responsible for the coming of fog and mist.
10. What crime had the mariner committed and how did it prove hellish? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : The ancient mariner had wantonly killed the innocent Albatross who had brought new hopes for the mariners. Killing of the bird proved to be hellish for him because the bird has been described as a 'Christian soul' which was the harbinger of happiness for the mariners struck in the silent sea.