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NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Literature Reader Chapter 11


Summary of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

The poem starts with three young men walking together to a wedding. An elderly mariner with a grey beard and a glittering eye stopped one of the three young men. One of young men is transfixed by the ancient Mariner’s “glittering eye” and sat on a stone to listen to his strange tale.
He started narrating the story. The mariner said that they were given a warm send-off when they started their journey. The weather was clear and they sailed south for many days. The Mariner recalled that the voyage quickly darkened, as a giant storm rose up in the sea and chased the ship southward. It was extremely gold with ice everywhere. The wind also stopped.
But then there came an Albatross, a great sea bird. As it flew around the ship, the ice cracked and split and a wind from the south propelled the ship out of the frigid regions, into a foggy stretch of water. The Albatross was a symbol of good luck to the sailors. However one day a sailor killed the Albatross with his crossbow.
At first, the other sailors were angry with the Mariner for having killed the bird that made the breezes blow. But when the fog lifted soon afterward, the sailors decided that the bird had actually brought not the breeze but the fog. The other mariners said that he had done a good thing by killing the Albatross that brought mist and snow. Then, the breeze stopped blowing and the ocean thickened. The men had no water to drink now. The sailors blamed the Mariner for their plight and hung the dead Albatross around his neck like a cross.


Unit-11 : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 111


Q1 : Look at the picture carefully and answer the questions given below:
What can you see in the picture? Does the man look happy?

Give reasons for your answer.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, sample solutions have been provided for your reference.
There is a distressed man standing in the company of a few other men, who seem to be on board a ship. The man, definitely, doesn’t look happy. He seems to be deep in sorrow, because his neck is hung low and his hand slapped on his forehead.

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Q2 : Look at the picture carefully and answer the questions given below:

Why does he have the bird hanging around his neck?
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, sample solutions have been provided for your reference.
The bird hanging around his neck might symbolize the memory of his committing a terrible error.


Q3 : Look at the picture carefully and answer the questions given below:
Have you heard of the expression- ‘having an albatross around your neck’? What do you think it means? Does it mean:
a. Something that you can always be proud of
b. Something that you have to do because you have no choice
c. Something that is with you all the time as a reminder that you have done something wrong?
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, sample solutions have been provided for your reference.
c. Something that is with you all the time as a reminder that you have done something wrong.


Q4 : Look at the picture carefully and answer the questions given below:
What is an albatross?
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, sample solutions have been provided for your reference.
They are large oceanic bird who have long narrow wings and are noted for a powerful gliding flight.

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Q5 : Here are some of the archaic words used in the poem; can you match them with the words used in Modern English Language that mean the same? The first one has been done for you as an example:

Stoppeth- Stopped
Thy entered
Wherefore why
Stopp’st you
Thou lunatic
May’st at once
Quoth fainting fit
Loon has
Eftsoons can’t
you
Dropt stopping
Hath church
Spake enemy
Kirk yes
Paced see
Foe call
Aye trouble
Ken looking
Swound your
Hollo said
Plague dropped
Look’st spoke

Answer :

Stoppeth- Stopped
Thy your
Wherefore why
Stopp’st stopping
Thou you
May’st can’t
you
Quoth said
Loon lunatic
Eftsoons at once
Dropt dropped
Hath has
Spake spoke
Kirk church
Paced entered
Foe enemy
Aye yes
Ken see
Swound fainting fit
Hollo call
Plague trouble
Look’st looking

Q6 : Using the words given above rewrite Part1 of the poem in your own words. The first stanza has been done as an example:
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?
An old sailor stopped one of the three people passing by, who asked: “Old man, with your long grey beard and glittering eye, why are you stopping me?”
Answer :
An old sailor stopped one of the three people passing by, who asked: “Old man, with your long grey beard and glittering eye, why are you stopping me? The bridegroom’s doors are open and I am one of the next family members. The guests have arrived, the feast is set. Can’t you hear the merriment?”
The sailor held him with his skinny hand and said: “There was a ship.” The wedding guest, disgustingly said, “Let go of me, you lunatic person,” and dropped his hand.
However, the sailor captivated his attention with his glittering eye; the wedding guest stood still. He was all ears to the old sailor, just like a three years old child, because now the mariner had his will.
The wedding guest was left with no choice but to listen to the ancient sailor. Thus began the narration of the ancient mariner. “There was a loud cheer on board, and the harbor has clear, for the sun to rise above the church, the hill, the lighthouse.
The sun came up upon the left and shone bright all day, and set on the right, going down the sea. The sun rose higher and higher everyday till it touched the mast on noon.”
The Wedding Guest beat his breast in impatience because he could hear the loud musical instrument being played.
The bride had started walking down the hall. She was as red as the rose. Before her went a merry procession of singers and musicians.
The wedding guest didn’t have a choice but to hear. Thus continued the mariner: “Then came the storm, severe and strong. The storm overtook them, and chased the ship southwards.
The cruel torturous ways of the storm is described here. The storm blew harsh, yelled and chased them towards south. The ship’s steer hung low.
They witnessed both mist and snow. The weather became wondrous cold with ice everywhere as bright and clear as emerald.
The floating ice and steep sides of the ice-bergs formed a dismayed sheen, that is, a smooth bright surface of ice.
There was ice all around them. The ice cracked, growled, roared and howled, like noises of a person in a fainting fit.
Then, the albatross arrived through the fog. It was hailed in God’s name, as a Christian soul.
It ate the food it had never eaten and flew round the ship. Then, a miracle occurred, when the ice cracked and the helmsman could steer the ship through the ice.
Throughout their journey down south, the albatross followed them, and everyday, came for food or play, at the call of the mariners. The nights turned to become “glimmered” like “the white moonshine.”
Part 1 of the poem concludes with the ancient mariner possessing an ill omen about the albatross. This part of the narration gave the ancient mariner a troubled look. When asked the reason for the same by the wedding guest, the mariner let it out and revealed the terrible truth that he shot the albatross.

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Q7 : The Ancient Mariner stopped one of the three wedding guests because…………
i. he wanted to attend the wedding with him
ii. he wanted him to sit with him
iii. he wanted him to listen to his story
iv. he wanted to stop him from going to the wedding
Answer :
iii. he wanted him to listen to his story.


Q8 : The wedding guest remarked that he was ‘next of kin’ which means that ……..
i. he was a close relation of the bridegroom
ii. he was a close relation of the bride
iii. he was next in line to get married
iv. he had to stand next to the bridegroom during the wedding
Answer :
i. he was a close relation of the bridegroom


Q9 : ‘He cannot choose but hear’ means………
i. the mariner was forced to hear the story of the wedding guest
ii. the wedding guest was forced to hear the story of the mariner
iii. the mariner had the choice of not listening to the story of the wedding guest
iv. the wedding guest had the choice of not listening to the story of the mariner
Answer :
ii. the wedding guest was forced to hear the story of the mariner


Q10 : ‘The sun came up upon the left, /Out of the sea came he;’This line tells us that the ship………………….
i. was moving in the northern direction
ii. was moving eastwards
iii. was moving in the western direction
iv. was moving towards the south
Answer :
iv. was moving towards the south


Q11 : The Wedding-Guest beat his breast because…………
i. he could hear the sound of the bassoon
ii. he was forced to listen to the Mariner’s tale when he wanted to attend the wedding
iii. the sound of the bassoon meant that the bride had arrived and the wedding ceremony was about to begin and he could not attend it.
iv. the sound of the bassoon announced the arrival of the bride and the start of the wedding ceremony
Answer :
iii. the sound of the bassoon meant that the bride had arrived and the wedding ceremony was about to begin and he could not attend it.


Q12 : The storm blast has been described as being tyrannous because……….
i. it was so fierce that it frightened the sailors
ii. it took complete control of the ship
iii. the storm was very powerful
iv. the sailors were at its mercy
Answer :
iv. the sailors were at its mercy

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Q13 :  The sailors felt depressed on reaching the land of mist and snow because……
i. there was no sign of any living creature
ii. they felt they would die in that cold weather
iii. they were surrounded by icebergs and there seemed to be no sign of life
iv. everything was grey in colour and they felt very cold
Answer :
iii. they were surrounded by icebergs and there seemed to be no sign of life


Q14 : The sailors were happy to see the albatross because……..
i. it was the first sign of life and therefore gave them hope that they might survive
ii. it split the icebergs around the ship and helped the ship move forward.
iii. it was a messenger from God and it lifted the fog and mist.
iv. it gave them hope of survival by splitting the icebergs.
Answer :
ii. it split the icebergs around the ship and helped the ship move forward


Q15 : The two things that happened after the arrival of the albatross were ……
i. the icebergs split and the albatross became friendly with the sailors
ii. the icebergs split and a strong breeze started blowing
iii. the ship was pushed out of the land of mist and the ice melted.
iv. the albatross started playing with the mariners and ate the food they offered.
Answer :
iii. the ship was pushed out of the land of mist and the ice melted.


Q16 : ‘It perched for vespers nine’ means………
i. the ship stopped sailing at nine o’clock every day
ii. the albatross would appear at a fixed time everyday.
iii. the albatross would sit on the sail or the mast everyday
iv. the albatross was a holy creature
Answer :
ii. the albatross would appear at a fixed time every day.

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Q17 : ‘God save thee, ancient Mariner, /From the fiends that plague thee thus!- Why look’st thou so?’ means……….
i. the mariner wanted to know why the wedding guest was looking so tormented
ii. the wedding guest wanted to know why the mariner was looking so tormented
iii. the wedding guest wanted to know whether some creatures were troubling the ancient mariner
iv. the ancient mariner wanted to know whether something was troubling the wedding guest
Answer :
ii. the wedding guest wanted to know why the mariner was looking so tormented


Q18 : How did the ancient mariner stop the wedding guest?
Answer :
The ancient mariner held the wedding guest with his skinny hand, and forced him into listening to him, capturing his attention with his glittering eyes. His gaze was so strong and intense, that even though the wedding guest did not want to listen to the story, he was forced to, much against his will.


Q19 : Was the wedding guest happy to be stopped? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer :
The wedding guest was extremely displeased to be stopped. This statement can be justified by taking instances from the poem where he tries to shrug off his hand, in order to proceed towards the wedding ceremony. His impatience is also noticed when he says he is one of the next family members who should be present in the wedding However, the ancient mariner holds him with his “glittering” eyes, forcing him to listen to the story.. The wedding guest started beating his breast as well, in between the narration, hearing the sounds of large instruments being played.


Q20 : Describe the ancient mariner.
Answer :
The poem’s protagonist, he is unnaturally old, with skinny, deeply-tanned limbs and a “glittering eye.”He sets sail from his native country with two hundred other men who are all saved from a strange, icy patch of ocean when they are kind to an Albatross that lives there. Impulsively and inexplicably, he shoots the Albatross with his crossbow and is punished for his crime by a spirit who loved the Albatross. He is cursed to be haunted indefinitely by his dead shipmates, and to be compelled to tell the tale of his downfall at random times. Each time he is compelled to share his story with someone, he feels a physical agony that decreases only temporarily once he finishes telling the tale.


Q21 : How does the mariner describe the movement of the ship as it sails away from the land?
Answer :
The mariner described the movement of the ship as it sailed away from the land in a very animated and interesting way. His description was so realistic that the wedding guest was mesmerised. As the ship moved southward, the weather was pleasant. But soon the weather started changing for the worst. First, a storm broke. It later turned to mist and snow, due to which their ship was stuck in ice.

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Q22 : What kind of weather did the sailors enjoy at the beginning of their journey? How has it been expressed in the poem?
Answer :
The beginning of the journey witnessed very nice and favourable weather conditions. The sun rose bright and shone bright on the mast a noon.. Things like the church, the hill and the lighthouse top signify life, society and human lives, which becomes a bleak idea soon in the later part of the poem.


Q23 : How did the sailors reach the land of mist and snow?
Answer :
The sailors were caught amidst a huge severe storm. This fierce storm chased their ship southwards. The masts started to stoop down and the front of the ship dipped low, indicating the loss of control of the ship, in the hands of the storm.


Q24 : How does the mariner express the fact that the ship was completely surrounded by icebergs?
Answer :
The words “the ice was here, the ice was there, the ice was all around,” gives us the picture of the ship surrounded, or rather, caught completely by the icebergs.


Q25 : How do we know that the albatross was not afraid of the humans? Why did the sailors hail it in God’s name?
Answer :
It can be said for sure that the albatross didn’t fear humans because it followed the mariners day and night and ate and played with them as well. The sailors hailed it in God’s name because it was a messenger from God which lifted the fog and mist.


Q26 : What was the terrible deed done by the Mariner? Why do you think he did it?
Answer :
The terrible deed done by the Mariner was that he shot the albatross. I think he did it because he considered its presence to be a bad omen.

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Q27 : There are a number of literary device used in the poem. Some of them have been listed below. Choose the right ones and write them down in the table as shown in the example. In each of the cases explain what they mean.

Simile, metaphor, alliteration, personification,
hyperbole, repetition

Answer:

1. The Wedding-Guest stood still, And listens like a three
years’ child:
Simile; the wedding guest was completely under the
control of the mariner
2. Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top
Alliteration; the alphabet
‘b’
is repeated several times
3. The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he
Personification; the sun is personified as someone
4. The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she
Simile; the bride is compared to a red rose
5. And now the storm-blast came,
and he was tyrannous and strong:
Hyperbole; the extremity of brutality of the storm is
portrayed.
6. With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe
Personification;
‘of his
foe’
implies reference to the image as an individual
7. The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around
Repetition; the word
‘ice’
is repeated several times in the reference.

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Q28 : In groups of four discuss what you think happens next in the poem. Share your views with the rest of the class.
Answer :
Note: This question is to be answered on the basis of your own understanding, experience and thoughts. It is strongly recommended that you prepare the solution on your own. However, a few pointers for discussion have been provided for your reference.
Few points you can discuss on:
The condition of the weather;
The plight of the ancient mariner;
The response of the fellow sailors;
The onward journey.


Q29 : In which direction did the ship start moving? How can you say?
Answer :
The ship started moving northwards. This can be said because the line in the poem says: “the sun now rose upon the right.”


Q30 : Why does the mariner say that ‘no sweet bird did follow’?
Answer :
The mariner says that no sweet bird did follow with reference to the albatross which followed them a few days back, and now is dead.


Q31 : How did the other mariners behave towards the Ancient Mariner at first? How many times did they change their mind about the Ancient Mariner? What does this tell us about their character?
Answer :
The other mariners rebuked him at first to have killed the albatross. However, they changed their mind immediately after that to praise the ancient mariner who killed the bird which brought in fog and mist. This shows how confused the mariners were, to set up a fixed notion about the ancient sailor.


Q32 : How did the sailing conditions change after the ship had moved out of the land of mist and snow? What or who did the mariners blame for this change?
Answer :
The breeze dropped down, making the sails drop down as well. The ship came to a standstill. The mariners blamed the ancient mariner for this change because he had killed the albatross which brought the breeze.


Q33 : What is indicated by the line ‘The bloody sun, at noon,/Right up above the mast did stand,/No bigger than the moon’?
Answer :
This line indicates the excessive heat of the sun, which shone above the mast at noon. The word ‘bloody’ shows how unwelcome the sun was.

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Q34 : How does the mariner describe the fact that they were completely motionless in the middle of the sea?
Answer :
The stanza “Day after day, day after day,/We stuck, nor breath nor motion;/As idle as a painted ship/Upon a painted ocean,” portrays a still picture of the sea and the ship.


Q35 : What is the irony in the ninth stanza? Explain it in your own words.
Answer :
The stanza “Water, water, everywhere,/And all the boards did shrink;/Water, water, everywhere,/Nor any drop to drink,” explains the irony as to how the presence of water in abundance is of no use to the sailors. The water of the ocean is salty, and thus inappropriate for the sailors to quench their thirst.


Q36 : What is the narrator trying to convey through the description of the situation in the tenth and eleventh stanza?
Answer :
In these stanzas, the narrator tries to convey the standstill description of the ocean and the ship. Everything rot because of the motionless sea. Animals from deep within the ocean had come out of their places and crawled in the slimy sea.
At night, the ‘death-fires’ seemed to dance near them. The narrator refers to the sea water as the witch’s oil. Just like a witch’s oil has many shades and keeps boiling, the sea water also had ‘green, blue and white’ colours. However, this was due to the different coloured creatures crawling in the sea.


Q37 : What or who did the mariners feel was responsible for their suffering?
Answer :
The mariners feel the absence of the albatross is the reason for their suffering. Thus, they blame the ancient mariner for killing the albatross.

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Q38 : Describe the condition of the mariners as expressed in the thirteenth stanza.
Answer :

  • And every tongue, through utter drought,
  • Was withered at the root;
  • We could not speak, no more than if
  • We had been choked with soot.

The condition of the mariners seem to be very pathetic and in a state of dismay. Their tongues and throats were parched at the root, with thirst. The sailors’ inability to speak can be well understood in the phrase: “We could not speak, no more than if/We had been choked with soot.”


Q39 : Why did the mariners hang the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner?
Answer :
The mariners hung the albatross around the neck of the Ancient Mariner as a cursed reminder, so that the thought could plague him for the rest of his life.


Q40 : Like part one, the second part also has a number of literary devices. List them out in the same way as you had done in question number seven and explain them.
Answer :

Out of the sea came he, personification of the sun.
Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head, Simile
The furrow followed free, alliteration
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
repetition
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean,
simile, hyperbole

Q41 : What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?
Answer :
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is written in loose, short ballad stanzas usually either four or six lines long but, occasionally, as many as nine lines long. The meter is also somewhat loose, but odd lines are generally tetrameter, while even lines are generally trimeter. (There are exceptions: In a five-line stanza, for instance, lines one, three, and four are likely to have four accented syllables—tetrameter—while lines two and five have three accented syllables.) The rhymes generally alternate in an ABAB or ABABAB scheme, though again there are many exceptions; the nine-line stanza in Part III, for instance, rhymes AABCCBDDB. Many stanzas include couplets in this way—five-line stanzas, for example, are rhymed ABCCB, often with an internal rhyme in the first line, or ABAAB, without the internal rhyme.

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Q42 : Find examples of the use of interesting sounds from the poem and explain their effect on the reader.

1.

The ice ‘cracked and growled and roared and howled’

Coleridge uses onomatopoeic words which use harsh ‘ck’
sounds to make the ice sound brutal. He also gives the
ice animal sounds to give the impression it has come
alive and is attacking the ship

     
     
     

Answer :

1. The ice ‘cracked and growled, Coleridge uses onomatopoeic
words which and roared and howled’
Coleridge uses which onomatopoeic words and roared and
howled’ use harsh ‘ck’ sounds to make the ice sound
brutal. He also gives the ice animal sounds to give the
impression it has come alive and is attacking the ship
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, Cnomatopoeic words which give a smooth picture of the
breeze blowing.
O Christ! This word exclaims the terror and the horror with which
the miserable condition of the sailors is expressed.

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