The Seafarer Questions and Answers

The Seafarer

In addition to considering modern translations of "The Seafarer," it is worth considering the instances of alliteration in the original Anglo-Saxon text of the poem. For example, in Anglo-Saxon,...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2021 9:10 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Seafarer

In the poem "The Seafarer," the use of alliteration gives the piece a lyrical and musical sound when read aloud, as was the custom for songs, dramas and poems—before the concept of literature...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2016 9:05 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

In the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Seafarer," the narrator shares the pitiless battering of nature on his person and his difficulty in being separated from the company of other people. Ironically, being...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2015 11:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Elegies are poems lamenting the dead or lost things. An elegy can be written about a deceased loved one or about a former way of life. Many Anglo-Saxon poems have at the very least an elegiac...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2020 12:21 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

These three poems are some of the better-known examples of Old English elegiac poetry. The theme of the outcast, someone who is now alone and outcast from his or her society, forms the basis for...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" exists as a very early example of Old English poetry. Historically, texts from this period were transmitted through oral tradition, only being written down after centuries. Although...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2018 12:04 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

The poem is divided into three major sections, with the first dealing with the hardships of the seafaring life, the second with more positive aspects of seafaring, and the third with religion. In...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2019 6:26 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Seafarer

The use of imagery within a text allows a reader to create mental images based upon the descriptions offered by the author. Well written imagery appeals to the senses of the reader and offers...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2013 12:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The Old English poem “The Seafarer” contains all the delightful features of Old English poetry. Let's examine some of them. Old English poems generally feature long lines of four stresses that are...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2020 2:26 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

The concept of "Fate" is first introduced when the narrator of "The Seafarer" describes the hardships of sailing, the quiet desire to remain on land—with its comforts and companions—and the call to...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2016 5:23 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Seafarer

Alliteration was one of the key elements used by Old English poets. Unlike many of today's poets, and especially today's students, Old English poets didn't worry too much about end-rhyme. Poets...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2016 2:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The narrator explains the relationship between the man and the sea as the experience of life itself. The sea, like life, is a dangerous and unpredictable place. It is ice-cold, full of storms and...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Hi there- I think you will find it helpful to visit our How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay page. There are other topics on our "how to" pages you might find helpful as well, including:...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2008 3:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an allegorical poem that charts one man's spiritual journey from a life of material ease and luxury to a state of blessed holiness. In this sense, the seafarer is exiled not just...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2018 8:55 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

At a basic level, the power of the sea is that the seafarer is drawn to it despite the hardships it brings. While in the beginning of the poem the speaker talks of the sea as incredibly harsh and...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2019 4:17 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem which was probably originally sung by scops, like most of the other literature of the period. It has been translated many ways, so an examination of several...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2013 1:02 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

I love this poem! The Seafarer does indeed relay all the hardships in your former answer, but he also relates how he is heartsick when he is not at sea. It is a longing within his breast that he...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2007 5:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

In "The Seafarer," I do not get the sense that fate drives the seaman as much as the call of his heart and his mind, so I would suggest that his heart and mind are stronger than fate. If one is...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2017 8:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

By giving up the normal human comforts of home, hearth, and family to embrace the loneliness and cold suffering of the seas, the seafarer embarks on a spiritual journey in which he discovers the...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2019 10:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

In "The Seafarer," loneliness and alienation are themes referred to often by the poem's speaker. The seafarer describes loneliness on the water in the following quote using imagery that describes...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2010 3:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

This is a trick question because one could make a "correct" argument for any of the three possibilities. In my opinion, however, the best answer to your question is that the speaker of "The...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2009 10:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Loneliness is a key theme in the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Wayfarer". The narrator introduces the idea of his isolation this way: I have spent great careworn wintersan exile on the ice-cold sea,cut...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2019 1:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem about a man who lives his life on the sea, a seafarer. The poem is one hundred and twenty-four lines long, and most of the first half of the work is a...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2013 1:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer," a poem that speaks to us down the centuries about suffering, loss, and hope for an everlasting life, is found in what is known as the Exeter Book and was most likely composed in the...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2015 9:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The Old English poems “The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” and “Dream of the Rood” all contain strong religious themes, but they express these themes in different ways. The most overtly religious of the...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2020 2:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Imagery refers to the technique a writer uses to create, in words, a picture in the reader's mind through the use of figurative language. Not only does the author use the technique for...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

Even though the seafarer spends the first part of the poem explaining how awful, lonely, and cold sea life is, he then says that he keeps going back to it voluntarily. The time for journeys would...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2015 11:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The protagonist and speaker in "The Seafarer" is a man who exists in a state of suffering. He suffers so much because he is an exile, forced to continually travel the seas in a culture which prized...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2019 3:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem in which the speaker, a man of the sea, at first outlines all the reasons why he has to be miserable at sea: it is cold, it is exhausting, and it is isolated....

Latest answer posted August 29, 2013 10:29 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Both "The Seafarer" and "The Wanderer," both of which are found in the Exeter Book (ca. 725 CE), are dramatic monologues in which the speakers describe their experience of hardship, the loss of...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2019 4:03 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Seafarer

Starting at the beginning of the poem, the seafarer is melancholy to the point of being profoundly depressed. He is depressed because he is stuck in a life on the ocean. He even refers to it as a...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2015 3:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The speaker of "The Seafarer" expresses profound skepticism over the value of earthly goods. Ultimately, when it comes to what really matters—achieving salvation—they are worse than useless. He...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2019 8:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem in the elegiac tradition, and its titular character, the Seafarer himself, is living a life from which most of the joys have vanished. He describes himself as...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2018 11:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

The poem The Seafarer is a lonely account of a man sailing by himself, so naturally, isolation features heavily in this work. We can intuit at the beginning of the poem that the sailor has no crew,...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2019 10:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" and "The Wanderer," both of which have distinct thematic similarities—the exile of the speaker and longing for what has passed into oblivion—are very different in their focus but end...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2019 2:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer", like most Anglo-Saxon or Old English poetry (including Beowulf) is written in what is known as strong-stress or alliterative meter. Unlike modern English poetry, in which feet are...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2015 11:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

In this poem, the speaker (Seafarer) discusses how harsh his life at sea has been. He makes particular notes about the cold weather especially in comparison with the cold, isolated feeling of...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2015 7:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The seafarer is definitely bitten by a wanderlust that drives him to set out across the seas. Two passages that show this are the following. First, he writes, And how my heartWould begin to beat,...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2020 1:35 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

In the Old English poem “The Seafarer,” faith in God is the crucial value, leading not only to good earthly fame after death but also to something much more important: eternal existence in heaven....

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 11:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The seafarer does not get to experience "the sound of the harp," "the pleasure of women," or other worldly pleasures and rewards. He feels that the rewards of life, including gold, "just won't...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2016 4:29 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

As with the better-known Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, which combines elements of the Anglo-Saxon's culture's pagan and Christian religion, "The Seafarer," probably composed between 900-1000 AD,...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2013 12:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Ultimately, the answer to this question outside of the context of this poem is for each individual to decide; within the context of the poem, however, the answer to the question is relatively...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2017 9:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

The speaker mourns the loss of great leaders and rich empires. He laments the fact that the world is losing its "Golden Age" of heroes. It is the passage from a warrior-based society to a Christian...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 12:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

I'm using a different translation to the one used by the previous educator, but there's still plenty of alliteration here: And now my spirit twists out of my breast, my spirit out in the...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2019 6:37 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

To me, the contrast that is implied is a contrast between the old, pagan, heroic values of the days gone by and the new, more Christian and peaceful values that the poet is recommending to people....

Latest answer posted January 3, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The short answer is that the poem presents two contrasting conceptions of glory or fame. One is connected with the heroic values of pre-Christian, Germanic culture, and concerns one's reputation...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 5:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

First, let us clear up one crucial point: "The Seafarer" wasn't written by Burton Raffel. Raffel translated this poem from the Old English (and some translations don't provide stanza breaks, so...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2007 9:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

This an interesting question, because the poem alludes to two different cultural conceptions of heroism -- the early, pre-Christian, Germanic conception, and the Christian one. The seafarer himself...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 7:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The speaker of the poem is both drawn to the sea and repelled by it. As the poem begins, we sense the latter attitude as he describes his experience battling nature: In icy bands, bound with...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2007 11:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

In the first stanza, the seafarer presents images of the hardships he has suffered at sea. He describes "smashing surf when I sweated in the cold / Of an anxious watch, perched in the bow." In this...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2017 12:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

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