Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," has been widely criticized, discussed and interpreted ever since it was written in 1797. Although there have been many different views, and interpretations of this poem, there has been one idea that has remained the same throughout. That is the religious symbolism seen throughout this poem. The main character of the poem, The Ancient Mariner, has much natural and biblical symbolism; a long with people he meets, and place he goes to during his journey. These are the most important roles of the poem. Critics have many views of this poem, "The story of the voyage in itself might lead us to despair, but framing narrative; involving the wedding guest, at least suggests a possible hope-(Punter), this is a view that many agree upon. The message of this ballad form poem that Coleridge was trying to get across, is through all the evil, good can still shine through. This thought of good and evil, symbolic religious events, and natural life are the points that Coleridge made relevant in his brilliant poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."".
The first symbolism towards religion in this poem is the ship. "Coleridge's originality as an artist is most obvious in the use of the ship to symbolize man, and the journey he must take in life, the hardships he must in tale and overcome-(Waldorf). The ship in this tale symbolizes the body of man. As a person experiences in life, the ship too experiences trials and tribulations. "It's carrying the Mariner (symbolizing the individual soul) and crew shows that Coleridge saw the body as a mere vessel of the soul-(Harding). Coleridge believed the ship to be the human body, it carries the soul throughout its journey to its final destination (the after life), and the two must share the troubles and successes along the way. This symbol of the boat to religion and natural life is a very powerful one, a person must steer their ship to a certain degree, yet its fate and direction is in the hands of the nature, which is in the hands of god.