Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


For generations, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” has befuddled readers. This project argues that many of its apparent puzzles disappear once we recognize its base text as the Satyricon Liber, Gaius Petronius’ first-century vulgar comedy. Attending to Coleridge’s broader literary corpus alongside images of sexual dysfunction in “The Rime” itself to justify this foundational claim, I then explore how a comic source transforms the reader’s experience of “The Rime” and its criticism. “The Rime” refutes cohesive readings as a horror-poem because it was never intended as pure horror: rather, the poem is Coleridge’s attempt to modernize a classic, low-browed farce.



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