Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Maneck H. Daruwala

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Heidi Scott

Third Advisor's Name

Steven Heine


Romanticism, Romantic poets, Buddhism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, dualism, Ecocriticism, Zen, meditation, transcendence, albatross, animal rights, environmental rights, green, anthropocentrism, prajna, wisdom, enlightenment, ignorance, ethics, ahimsa, Buddha, Buddhist

Date of Defense



The popularization of academic spaces that combine Buddhist philosophy with the literature of the Romantic period – a discipline I refer to as Buddhist Romantic Studies – have exposed the lack of scholarly attention Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner have received within such studies. Validating Coleridge’s right to exist within Buddhist Romantic spheres, my thesis argues that Coleridge was cognizant of Buddhism through historical and textual encounters. To create a space for The Rime within Buddhist Romantic Studies, my thesis provides an interpretation of the poem that centers on the concept of prajna, or wisdom, as a vital tool for cultivating the mind. Focusing on prajna, I argue that the Mariner’s didactic story traces his cognitive voyage from ignorance to enlightenment. By examining The Rime within the framework of Buddhism, readers will also be able to grasp the importance of cultivating the mind and transcending ignorance.





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