Class 10 Literature Reader

The Rhime of the Ancient Mariner

Exercise Questions

Part 2

Question 1: How did the ancient mariner stop the wedding guest?

Answer: The ancient mariner used his gleaming eyes to stop the wedding guest.

Question 2: Was the wedding guest happy to be stopped? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: The wedding guest does not seem to be happy at being stopped. He is a young person who has come to attend the wedding ceremony and would be least interested in an old tale by an old man.

Answer the following questions breifly

Question 3: Describe the ancient mariner.

Answer: The Ancient Mariner is an old man. He is quite thin and frail. He long grey beard and there is a glitter in his eyes.

Question 4: How does the mariner describe the movement of the ship as it sails away from the land?

Answer: The mariner describes the movement of the ship as it sails away from the land; in following words. This ship is going farther and farther on the horizon. First of all, the ship appears to be going below the kirk, then below the hill. Finally the ship is so far that it appears to be even below the lighthouse top.

Question 5: What kind of weather did the sailors enjoy at the beginning of their journey? How has it been expressed in the poem?

Answer: The weather was pleasant and sunny. The sun came as if appearing from the innards of the sea. The sun was bright day after day during the initial phase of the journey.

Question 6: How did the sailors reach the land of mist and snow?

Answer: The fierce storm forced the ship to reach the land of mist and snow.

Question 7: How does the mariner express the fact that the ship was completely surrounded by icebergs?

Answer: The mariner says that the ice was here, the ice was there and it was all around.

Question 8: How do we know that the albatross was not afraid of the humans? Why did the sailors hail it in God’s name?

Answer: The way albatross came to eat from the sailor’s hands shows that it was not afraid of humans. After the albatross appeared, the weather became pleasant and hence the sailors hailed it in God’s name.

Question 9: What was the terrible deed done by the Mariner? Why do you think he did it?

Answer: It is not clear why the Mariner killed the albatross. It can be assumed that the Mariner was fed up all the attention which the Albatross was getting.

Question 10: In which direction did the ship start moving? How can you say?

Answer: The ship began to move towards north because the sun is not setting to the left.

Question 11: Why does the mariner say that ‘no sweet bird did follow’?

Answer: The mariner tries to express his sadness at having killed the albatross. Hence he is making this statement.

Question 12: How did the other mariners behave towards the Ancient Mariner at first? How many times did they change their mind about the Ancient Mariner? What does this tell us about their character?

Answer: The other mariners changed their opinions as per the changing weather. When the weather was favourable, they hailed the Ancient Mariner for killing the albatross. But when the weather was not favourable, they cursed the Ancient Mariner. This shows that human beings most often interpret something as per their convenience. It does not say anything about their character.

Question 13: How did the sailing conditions change after the ship had moved out of the land of mist and snow? What or who did the mariners blame for this change?

Answer: Once the ship came out of the land of mist and snow, it had to withstand a condition of complete lull. The wind was still and the ship could not move an inch. The mariners blamed the killing of the albatross for this change.

Question 14: What is indicated by the line ‘The bloody sun, at noon, /Right up above the mast did stand, /No bigger than the moon’?

Answer: The heat of the sun is being compared with the tortuous situation which the sailors were suffering from.

Question 15: How does the mariner describe the fact that they were completely motionless in the middle of the sea?

Answer: The ship was so still that it appeared as a painted ship on the painted ocean. This sentence aptly describes the motionless ship in the middle of the sea.

Question 16: What is the irony in the ninth stanza? Explain it in your own words.

Answer: The biggest irony is that inspite of being in the midst of the ocean of water, the sailors don’t have a single drop to drink. We know that saline water is not fit for human consumption. Hence, if a person is caught in the middle of the sea and he does not have drinking water; only God can save his life.

Question 17: What is the narrator trying to convey through the description of the situation in the tenth and eleventh stanza?

Answer: In these stanzas, the narrator tries to depict the haunting stillness in the mid of an ocean. Sometimes, silence can have a chilling effect on the person. During night, the slience of the day changes into a show of colorful light. Suiting the mood of the narrator, the colorful display of light on the surface of ocean is compared with the night oil of a witch.

Question 18: What or who did the mariners feel was responsible for their suffering?

Answer: The mariners felt that some evil spirits from the unfathomable depth of the ocean were responsible for their suffering.

Question 19: Describe the condition of the mariners as expressed in the thirteenth stanza.

Answer: The mariners were barely able to speak because of their parched throat. They were unable to speak as if their throats were parched with soot.

Question 20: Why did the mariners hand the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner?

Answer:Albatross around the neck is used in the proverbial sense as if a heavy burden is thrust upon you. The mariners probably tied the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner to symbolize the burden of guilt because of killing the albatross.