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This is not really a big point, but with all the babbling about music, and the hairy ancestors of Team Jacob, I didn’t want to leave the topic without one explicit information/observation/opinion/ohgoodnessdamnthesemanticsofliterarystudies I can provide you with.

So, one reason why the Rime, and in particular, the Mariner himself, are so interesting for studies on Gothic literature:

The Mariner is not just iconic for its mood, but because of something that often gets overlooked, and, notably, indeed connects Coleridge with modern werewolf tales. The Rime marks one of the distinctive developments in Gothic fiction when writers begin not only to tell Gothic stories from the perspective of the victims (usually, innocent virgin young girls), or outlandish freaks, like the figures from The Monk, Vathek, and other, lesser known texts. It’s one of the first times, and possibly the first really prominent example in English literary history where we are told the story from the perspective of the monster! …Or, better, we are told the circumstances of a monstrous transformation from the perspective of the victim, which I am fairly sure you do not find anywhere else, at least not with the victim as the narrator.

Coleridge might indeed be the “trope namer”, as the kids today might call him, of a conceptual trend we will then see rise to prominence in the later 19th, and, of course, the 20th century. – Now, don’t misunderstand me, alienation from oneself, and fantastic transformations today are rightfully tracked back to Robert Louis Stevenson, and a certain Mr Kafka. Still, the Mariner fits in this line of characters, from Frankenstein’s creature, to vampires and werewolves, and Dorian Gray, up until modern examples, like, say, Elric of Melnibone.

So, the perspective that most especially vernacular, as in, wikipedia-based, comments on the ballad give, is, in my opinion, incomplete, to say the least.

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