The Seafarer Questions and Answers

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What attractive power does the sea have on the seafarer in "The Seafarer"?

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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 almost like a prison, it is clear that the seafarer feels deeply connected to it. Over the course of the poem, we learn that the seafarer has made some kind of peace with the sea and come to appreciate it. As he talks of the "lone-flier," the poem gives a sense of the freedom the seafarer feels at sea.

As the poem nears its end, the content shifts to a spiritual reflection that works at two levels. First, it seems that the hardships of the sea have led the seafarer to a strong faith in God. It is easy to imagine how extended periods of loneliness and frequent close encounters with death might lead to the kind of reflections that push people towards greater spirituality. Second, the entirety of the seafarers journey can be read as a metaphor for a Christian's faith. Faith is depicted as leaving...

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