The Wedding Guest has become "a sadder and wiser man" at the end of the poem, implying that the Mariner's story has transformed him, making him less interested in revelry and more concerned with the spiritual and natural problems that the Mariner's story conveys. This change is indicated by the fact that he leaves his friends behind as he goes in search of new ones.
Wedding guests usually have a happy time during the ceremony and reception. But at the end of the evening, when the party breaks up, the guests go their separate ways. This means that even though the Mariner was once interested in partying with his friends, he is now looking for people who will help him deal with issues such as loss and change.
Weddings can be very emotional events for everyone involved. Guests often feel uncomfortable about leaving after the ceremony but need to go home anyway. So instead of showing their emotions, they make an effort not to upset those they love by appearing sad or angry.
In addition, weddings can be expensive affairs, and some couples may want guests to feel guilty if they aren't able to afford to attend. So they may tell others not to come unless they can afford it, which would make others feel bad if they couldn't afford to fly out-of-state or stay in a hotel.
Apparently, the mariner's wedding guest need to hear this message. Something is wrong in his life, and hearing the Mariner's narrative makes him a better person, although "a sadder and wiser man" (621). Actually, the Ancient Mariner feels compelled to relate his narrative to anybody who would listen. He knows that his sins are so great that he will never be able to atone for them himself, and so he tells his story instead.
The Ancient Mariner was a sea captain who lived during the early 17th century. He was famous for having gone on a drunken spree aboard his ship, killing one sailor and wounding another before fleeing the scene of the crime. When he could not find refuge on any other vessel, he decided to end his own life by drowning himself in a remote part of England. But first, he told his story to a wedding guest, hoping that it would help someone else avoid making the same terrible mistake.
First of all, we should note that it is a very short story, only 250 words long. That means that the writer had to choose what information to include and what details to leave out, which must have been quite a challenge. The Ancient Mariner tells his story to a wedding guest - but they are not married, so there is no relationship between them.
However, once the Ancient Mariner has finished recounting his tale to the wedding guest, the wedding guest departs a sadder and wiser man. The wedding guest reacted in this manner because he recognized the sacredness of all life, the ramifications of the mariner's acts, and the presence of God in this situation. Thus, as a sign of respect for what had occurred, he left before further tragedy could befall anyone.
The old mariner forces the wedding guests to listen to his narrative while he suffers from anguish after killing the albatross. He moves from place to place telling his narrative to different individuals since telling his story to someone relieves him of his misery for the time being. When the last person leaves, he dies of a heart attack.
Wedding guests are usually expected to hear both the bride and groom's speeches at their weddings. This is particularly true in countries where each family has some responsibility for arranging a marriage proposal and planning the wedding day. Usually only one member of the couple will be allowed to speak during the ceremony, with the other listening or responding by showing agreement or disagreement through quiet gestures or occasional words.
Wedding guests who fail to pay attention during the ceremony may find themselves excluded from future gatherings with the couple. Even if they were not responsible for causing the marital problem, people who ignore the couple could cause embarrassment by laughing at inappropriate times or leaving early.
In ancient Greece, it was customary for friends and relatives of the married couple to attend a wedding ceremony and feast together afterwards. The host would pay for the wedding festivities, which might include music, dancing, and food. Guests would help eat the food and drink the wine, which in some cases could be intoxicating. After the meal, the host would tell stories about the lives of heroes and villains from mythology.
"It is an old mariner, and he stoppeth one of three," he picked the wedding guest because, for whatever reason, the wedding guest couldn't help but listen: "It is an ancient mariner, and he stoppeth one of three."
The Ancient Mariner tells his story because he wants someone to understand what he has done. He wants someone to know that even though he was once a happy man, now he is forever cursed. Now, when we read this poem, we can see that the Ancient Mariner is looking for some kind of understanding from those around him. But, why would anyone want to listen to his story? That's what makes this poem so interesting!
In other words, the wedding guest doesn't really stop anything—he's just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. However, even though he didn't actually do anything wrong, the Ancient Mariner still blames him for his misfortune. This shows that even though you may not have chosen to listen to the story, once you start listening, you can't stop until it is finished.