Contemporary and Universal:A Case Study of Themes in Coleridge’s Masterpiece- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharje


Poetry has been defined as ‘spontaneous overflow’ of emotions by the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth. By this very definition emotions, which are integral parts of human beings,make poetry universally relevant. And yet its universality and relevance are often questioned in contemporary times by many, especially in the context of poetry of the past. Moreover, in the teaching and learning context, poetry is often considered to be rather impractical and unable to impart skills which are really needed on the ground. Students often deem poetry as a luxury or just an extra. So has poetry lost its relevance? Poetry not only is a treasure trove of emotions and literary expressions, it deals with multiple themes which are relevant, contemporary and universal. This paper aims to examine the relevance of poetry in the context of contemporary times and pedagogythrough the study of some of the universal and contemporary themes taking S. T. Coleridge’s masterpiece The Rime of the Ancient Mariner as a case study.

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