Tania De Lira-Miranda
Romanticism, a very popular genre of both literature and art, is not what the name might suggest. The name seems to imply that the genre is about love and romance between characters and/or people. What the genre is really about is either one of two things. The first is about nature and how it should be revered due to its qualities and the second is about expressed emotion. So based on these two explanations about Romanticism, I would say that Iron Maiden’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is like Romantic poetry.
The Iron Maiden song can be considered a homage to the poem as it is basically a musical version of the poem. Using direct lines from the poem, the song has many instances of the rhythmic beat, and imagery. The poem has almost a sad and dark atmosphere surrounding it just like the story of the Mariner and the song follows this with its beat. In the beginning, the song almost has an upbeat but this changes as the beat and tempo become faster when the crew starts dying and then the tempo slows down like it’s leading up to the upbeat again when the song is about to end and when the plot talks about the wedding guest again. Another thing that makes the song be like Romantic poetry is the imagery it discusses. Since the song uses either uses direct quotes at times or references events that happened in the poem, the imagery the poem has is translated nicely to the song. An example of this would be “The naked hulk alongside came, / And the twain were casting dice; / ‘The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!’ / Quoth she, and whistles thrice” from the poem and “Death and she life in death / They throw their dice for the crew / She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now” from the song. Though using different words, Iron Maiden still has the same image behind these lyrics: Death won the lives of the Mariner’s crew members while Life-In-Death won the life of the Mariner and this is an important part of the poem as this is when the Mariner learns a lesson. By keeping the same images Samuel Taylor Coleridge was trying to convey, his messages can still be seen in the song even though it is through a different medium and in turn, this makes the song still be just as impactful as the poem was which is what Samuel Taylor Coleridge probably would have wanted.