Illustrative Technique as a Romantic Era Tool

Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is like romantic poetry in the way that it captures the very mission of romantic poetry. Our class mostly agreed that Romantic poetry aimed to invoke this deep and beautiful feeling in a mission to explore and understand human emotion. Iron maidens use of music and illustration certainly aids in evoking a deep and emotive meaning even beyond what the words of a poem can do, making it romantic-esque art in and of itself.



This pictures for me is incredible. The poem doesn’t come close to the fear created by this image. I am first, not the most imaginative reader, so conjuring up this image would be hard itself, but the even reading I don’t think most people get to this magnitude. This picture really takes someone’s interpretation and paints it clearly and gets across all the emotion that they felt reading and I see this as literally capturing the point of Romantic-era art. He drew what he felt when reading the poem. He got across this incredible display of emotion through art. The artist used both literal means of the picture but also techniques to get these images across. The green tone is associated with a sort of dark magic as it is commonly used in films. The way the creatures looms over the boat with a hand as big as the boat adds to his massive and intimidating size. The sharp rocks make the scene look rougher and “scarier” aka like a typical horror movie scene. The dark and swirling clouds leads to some black hole where god knows what lies and the albatross is a bright white in comparison to everything else, making it seem like the only good, and yet it is dead. The red in its eyes and the red blood coming from the bird are the same color and texture which, doesn’t scream “yay” and the people on the boat aren’t even visible so like they’re already screwed. The artist chose to emphasize that size difference so it seems like this thing could sneeze and that boat is lost forever.

The music also helped to boost the sort of terror and thrill that the poem describes. The music is high energy but also darker in a way that alludes to a foreboding sense of danger. The music itself causes chemical reactions in peoples; brains as they listen outright, forcing them to feel emotions as their nerves rise. This also becomes another way like romantic art, Iron Maiden’s rendition gets across this human emotion.


2 thoughts on “Illustrative Technique as a Romantic Era Tool

  1. The original idea for this post states that Iron Maiden’s rendition of the “Ancient Mariner” bolsters the images that one can create in their own head rather than reading it alone. Your analysis of the image and the song are pretty solid in my opinion. I don’t see what needs to be improved so much for your argument.


  2. Your most original idea is when you talk about the picture. I like how you admit you aren’t the most imaginative reader. To make this better I suggest you cite the song directly.


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