Sarthaks Test
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Assess S.T. Coleridge’s poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ as a ballad.

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A ballad is a long narrative poem. It was generally sung with the help of musical instruments. Most of the ballads tell romantic tales of the old world. The theme is romantic. Coleridge’s ballad is based on the old Christian theme of sin, revenge and repentance. The killing of the albatross—a ‘Christian Soul’ brings sufferings and woes to the mariners. An atmosphere of mediaevalism runs through the poem. Archaic words like ‘kirk’ and ‘kin’ add to its old beauty. The rhyme scheme abcb in the four-line stanzas and aba bcb or aac bcb in six-line stanzas gives the desired musical effects.

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