The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Creative Writing Activity triggered by Gustave Dorè’s prints

We have analysed the different textbook excerpts taken from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  On the basis of all the things you know now of the Rime, observe the following prints and write a dialogue between the different figures present in the print (both human, natural, supernatural, animate and inanimate).  Remember that you need to write the part of the narrator too.  Have fun and try to be as original and creative as ever! I count on that.  Looking forward to reading your “imaginative pieces!”

“The game is done! I’ve won, I’ve won!”
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The game is done

Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

each cursed me

And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

and never a saint took pity on


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106 Responses to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Creative Writing Activity triggered by Gustave Dorè’s prints

  1. yana guerra says:

    Dialogue 1
    After the death of the albatross, Mariner’s shipmates see a vessel that is getting close to their ship. On the vessel there are two figures:
    DEATH: He is convicted, he killed a God’s creature, he is against nature! I would kill him with my own hands!
    LIFE-IN-DEATH: No, I am not agree with you! He must have his right punishment! He has to be immortal and see all his friends and parents die, and he has to tell to everybody what he has made!
    DEATH: Let’s cast the dice! If my score is higher, he is mine!
    LIFE-IN-DEATH: Ok. But if I win, he will be immortal!
    The dice floated in the air..
    LIFE-IN-DEATH: The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve Won!

    Dialogue 2
    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, and a man started to talk to the Ancient Mariner:
    MAN: You decided for me, for my future! You are the responsible of my death!
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: I didn’t want…
    MAN: My family? My wife? My sons and daughters? Who will take care of them?
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: Oh! Please, stop speaking! Oh God! What have I done? Why I did it?
    MAN: You are the responsible of my death, of OUR death!
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: Oh please! I am so sorry! I really didn’t want to do this!
    MAN: I would kill you with my bare hands! Your justification will help any of us!
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: What have I done? Oh my God!

    Dialogue 3
    The Ancient Mariner is speaking with God..
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: Oh, never a saint took pity on my soul in agony. I never wanted to do it, I’m a good person, I believe in you, God. I am a son of God, I am your son. If you think that this punishment is fair, I will agree with you, I’ll approve every kind of your choice.
    The Ancient Mariner began to pray..
    THE ANCIENT MARINER: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
    GOD: I like you prayers, but you have committed a crime, a crime against me! Wasn’t the albatross my son? Also he was, and you killed him! You have to serve your sentence, you have to understand what is right and what is wrong. All our actions have consequences and you have to accept them!

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      If only you worked this hard and well in class too. I loved the way you rendered the desperation of the Mariner and I enjoyed reading his confrontation with God. Great the idea of looking for the “Our Father” prayer in English. It emphasises the Mariner’s sense of loss and need for redemption.
      The English flows and I hope you wrote it all by yourself. Has anybody helped you?

  2. Michele says:

    I’m sorry for having this uploaded in different moments, but I’m doing it by my mobile phone, so i had problems
    2)The destiny was chosen: the mariners should have died, while the old man would have lived.
    They started glaring at him with anger and thunders fell down furiously around the ship. The skeleton where the two strangers decided the crew’s faith disappeared in a slimy haze. The ancient mariner had hundreds of eyes around him, as if he was surrounded by silent statues. They did neither talk nor cry for their sad faith, but cursed the old man with their expressions, waiting for the end to come
    3)And all of a sudden, the mariners started dying one by one.
    “God damns you!”
    “What have you done to us?”
    “You shall not be forgiven, old man!”
    The skinny captain, who did not dare to look at his perishing crew, felt like being stabbed to death everytime one of his men expired.
    Once the massacre finished, the ship was a mountain of corpses, pale and cold as marble.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      I am sorry that you had the inconvenience of not having a computer. It would have made the task less irritating, perhaps. However, our digital age made it possible for you to post your comments too, which, by the way, are worth reading!

  3. Antonino D'angelo says:

    Picture I
    The two eternal mates decided to leave to Case two destinies: the crew or our sailor.
    Mr. Death aspires to the precious life of the mariner.
    His partner Life-in-death prefers to take the equipage.
    Death : ” Well, my dear, let our dice to decide.”
    Life-in-death: ” I’m in… I’m sure that I will not lose this time”.
    Death: “I’m pretty skeptical about this, for the last 9 centuries you did not win 3 times in a row!”
    Life-in-death: ” Yeah, I know, but this time I feel that I will not get disappointed.”
    It is almost night and the dice have not yet decided.
    Death: “This will be the last try, I’m starting to get bored.”
    Life-in-death: “All right, but this time we roll the dice together.”
    The two hands are raised and the dice are flying… their landing seems to last an eternity…
    the faces are alternating one another continuosly… until one face decides to keep its place and to stop the cube…
    Life-in-death can not believe what just happened.
    Life-in-death: ” The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!”

    Picture II
    Suddenly all of his fellows looked at him with a dying look.
    Ancient Mariner: “My friends! What is happening to you?”
    Crew: “You have condemned us! You have just killed us!”
    A.M. :” But how? I would never let this happen!”
    Crew: “You know what you did and you can not go back, you have to pay for your crime!”
    A.M.:” No, my fellows, I don’t want to lose you for my mistakes! This is unfair!”
    Crew:” What you have done is irreperable… now you will face the consequences… Farewell…”
    A.M. :” Oh Alas! Please forgive me!”

    Picture III
    Now the ancient Mariner is alone, his mates are gone, they left their bodies there with him.
    He is still suffering for what happened to his comrades. The guilt is torturing him harder and harder…
    A.M. : ” My friends! Forgive me for what I have done, have mercy! Please!”
    Souls: “No, you can not change the past, you have condemned us but you have also condemned yourself. Deal with it.”
    A.M. : ” I really regret what I did. I should not have killed the Albatross. I did not know what could happen next…”
    Souls: ” And now you know it. We can not forgive you, let us rest in peace and that you will suffer for the rest of your life and we will not meet again, even after your death…This is goodbye.”

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      Nice, Antonino. You did a great job. Did you write it all by yourself or somebody helped you? If you did it all on your own, then your English has improved a great deal!
      Remember that “cannot” is one word!

  4. Giulia says:

    “The game is done! I’ve won, I’ve won!”
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

    They’re playing dice, to decide the fate of the crew.
    D : so, we have to play also today, and if it is a even number I win .
    L: I am agree upon
    They throw the dice and the game was done..
    Overcame death..
    D : yes, I’ve won now they will all die. It will accomplish destiny, I choose. But, however, let him live alone, who led to the death his crew as punishment.
    L : What did you decide , it will be accomplished.
    And so the crew died. And the ghost ship disappeared.

    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

    They are on the ship, the crew was dying and the ancient mariner was the man who killed the albatross.
    M1 : you wanted ! We are dying because of your crime!
    A: No, I did not want!
    M1 : You created this situation! You have brought us to death!
    A: I did not create this!
    M1 : you did not want ? So, why you have done this?
    A: I thought that would improve the situation, our condition. In fact, the weather had improved.
    M1 , but not our condition ! Now you’ll be pleased.
    A: l do not believe he did just for me.
    M1 : now you’re alone . Farewell.
    And so the sailor found himself alone, without his crew and with the albatross around his neck.

    And never a saint took pity on / My soul in agony.
    All souls are flying into the sky; all are looking over the ancient mariner.
    The sailor was alone and without his crew. You could see the desperation in his eyes.
    A: why all this has happened to me? What have I done so ardours? I thought to help my colleagues and improve our condition. Instead I’m here, alone, with no one. How am I going? Where will I go? I do not know. I am alone.
    M: you want this making that gesture.
    And so the souls ascended to heaven.

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      It is interesting the way you rendered the character of the Mariner: psychologically speaking he seems to deny or smother any awareness as to the crime he committed. He keeps on claiming he did not want to, but he did!

  5. Nicola says:

    Dialogue 1
    The two women,from a distance started deciding on the lives of the ancient mariner and his companions. Death, the woman wearing an all black dress wanted the lives of the poor mariners,but so did the horrifically beautiful life-in-death. Death said:thy life I would like,be my slave for ever and serve me in the other world where i reign. Death in life said: Oh you little mariners do not listen to her, she shall not give you the prize you deserve. Live for ever with no chances of escaping from my eternal love.
    The two women decided to choose the mariner’s destiny through the game of dice, where only fate rules.
    Dialogue 2
    Fate decieth everything. Death wins and gets the souls of the poor mariners except one.. While everybody collapsed, he stood up all alone. The sky changed above him; a colorful rain poured down on him and a voice echoed in that blood-curdling wind”ahahaha i won, I won he’s my little mariner for all eternity!”
    The last body dropped to the ground with its eyes opened,cursing the ancient mariner to an eternity of suffering and solitude. The mariner could now see an horde of desperate souls diving in the depths of the big ocean,whispering the survivor’s name.
    Dialogue 3
    The rain that fell on the mariner transformed into his greatest sin: a chain was set on his neck and the dead albatross hung from it. In that very moment a voice was heard all over the seven seas and trascental light spotted him and it said:” you whom have committed a great crime shall now live for ever and tell the story of what you have done to whoever you meet. This is my will”

    • cristianaziraldo says:

      Succinct, but to the point. Your narrative parts seem to overshadow the dialogue, but if that is your “creative style” I cannot add anything but accept it 😉

  6. Silvia Zongaro says:

    First picture.
    Life and Death are playing with dice.
    Life says “So we will play to decide the fate of the Mariner.”
    Death nodded but is suspicious: “but how can I understand if you would cheat. You bring here the dice I don’t trust in you.
    “Oh come on I won’t cheat. The destiny will decide” says Life.
    “No, I don’t believe you”
    “Ok, if this is what you want the dice will be thrown by the wind”
    The beautiful girl stands up, she looks up to the sky and raises her hands. she recites few obscure words and immediately the wind forms a huge tornado that comes to the ship, raises the dice and then throw them between the two souls.
    Life and Death intrigued look the dice.
    “The game is done! I’ve won, I’ve won!” Quoth she, and whistles thrice

    Second picture.
    The ancient mariner is looking to his mates dying in front of him. He is frightened and doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know what is happening.
    “Why are you all dying? Why not me? What is happening?” says the mariner scared and confuse.
    The only sounds on the ships are the laments of the mariners and the strong sound of the wind. One of these with a little voice says “we are starving”.
    The Ancient mariner still doesn’t understand: “but I’m starving too why I’m not dying as all of you?”
    Suddenly a strange voice comes from nowhere. “you kill the albatross and you have to be punished” says. The ancient mariner justifies him: “I kill this poor albatross to feed my mates. We are starving. We are here from days.”
    “You kill the albatross” repeats the voice. “and for this reason your sailors will die now instead of you. You will live forever!”
    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed the ancient mariner with his eye.
    “No no, I wanted to save them”
    “The die is cast!” says the voice.

    Third picture
    “What can I do to stop this torture? How can I die with them? Please please..” shouts the disperate Mariner. One of the souls that are raising up to the sky answers him: “Dear captain, you can’t do anything. Life and Death have decided. This is your fate.”
    “No it’s impossible. i will throw myself in this angry sea and will take my life”
    “You won’t die” says the soul.
    “Never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. So what can I do? Please help me”
    The soul smile at him: “listen, now you return to the dry land and you tell your story to each person you meet. Help them not to make your same mistake. I will show you the way.”
    The Ancient Mariner flips the ship and wends to the land.

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