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What are three images used by the poet of "The Seafarer" in the first...

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marksmith24 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 10, 2008 at 7:42 AM via web

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What are three images used by the poet of "The Seafarer" in the first stanza to convey a sense of isolation? Give an example of each.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 10, 2008 at 8:19 AM (Answer #1)

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In the first selection, the narrator is portrayed as a prisoner in his surroundings, alone in his personal and icy dungeon. 

My feet were cast
In icy bands, bound with frost,

In the second example, the image is of the narrator beset upon by storms, having no shelter from the dangerous conditions and no one to protect him from them.

How wretched I was, drifting through winter
On an ice-cold sea, whirled in sorrow,
Alone in a world blown clear of love,
Hung with icicles. The hailstorms flew.
The only sound was the roaring sea,
The freezing waves.

In this last image, readers see the narrator as surrounded only by rocky cliffs, with the screams of birds as his only company.

Storms beat on the rocky cliffs and were echoed
By icy-feathered terns and the eagle's screams;
No kinsman could offer comfort there,
To a soul left drowning in desolation.

The poet uses the weather, the cries of birds, and the unwelcoming rocky cliffs to portray the alienation felt by the Seafarer.


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