Allusion in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts 2
"Instead of the cross, the Albatross..."   (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts)

The sailors ultimately blame the Mariner for their bad luck. As punishment, they make him wear the bird around his neck as a reminder of his crime. It is also a symbol of the burden of sin, and Coleridge is deliberately drawing a comparison between the Albatross and the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

"As if it had been a Christian soul..."   (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts)

By comparing the seabird to a Christian soul and describing how the bird helps get the ship to safety in the next stanza, Coleridge creates an allusion to the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark, in which a dove leads the ark to safety. Allusions occur when the author indirectly refers to a different story and leaves it up to the reader to make the connection.