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I need examples of caesura, kenning, assonance, and alliteration in "The Seafarer." 

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stuffylynn | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM via web

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I need examples of caesura, kenning, assonance, and alliteration in "The Seafarer." 

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 3, 2013 at 5:36 PM (Answer #1)

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"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon elegiac poem. As with many Anglo-Saxon texts, the poem contains caesuras, kennings, assonance, and alliteration. 

Caesura is a sound break in the middle of a line. This allows for the scop (the one responsible for passing on the oral tradition of the tale/poem) to take a breath and pause for dramatic effect. An example of caesura is found in the following line: "hung with icicles; hail flew in showers." The semicolon acts as a reminder to pause.

A kenning is a metaphor which is used to elevate and beautify the language. For example, "sea-paths (in line 29) is the ocean. 

Assonance is the repetition of a vowel sound within a line of poetry. Line 12 contains assonance: "the sea-weary soul." Here, the "e" sound in sea and weary repeat. 

Alliteration, on the other hand, is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry. Line three contains alliteration: "tell my travels." The repetition of the "t" sound depicts alliteration. 

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