Lecturer at Isfahan University, Faculty of Foreign Languages
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is the most symbolic of all Romantic poets. Through his creative imagination, Coleridge creates symbols that disguise the philosophical ideas, and something fresh and unsullied out of the chaos of different images and associations. It is simply imagination that enables the romantic poet to present spiritually perceived things, and resolves his conflict by returning to “dynamic organicism.” In Coleridge’s masterpiece entitled The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the emphasis is placed on “negative romanticism” or the poet’s “period of doubt and despair” when he fails to perceive the truth, imaginatively. In isolation and with the help of imagination, the poet sees the benevolence of the universe and the beauty of all the creatures. Besides, he finds the potentiality to grasp the truth. What follows is an attempt to see to what extent the Mariner is symbolic of a romantic poet, or a true romantic poet according to Peckham. This study traces the different states the Mariner goes through changing from a negative romanticist to a positive one. The changes are accompanied by change in attitude towards the universe and unity with it. Furthermore, projections of Coleridge as a romantic poet, on his imaginatively created character help reveal more about the Mariner.