What conflicting emotions does the seafarer feel when he sets off on a sea voyage?

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astrocourt | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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The first part of the poem discusses the danger and harshness of being out at sea. It's not until we get to

The time for journeys would come and my soul
Called me eagerly out, sent me over the horizon,
seeking foreigner's homes...

that we start to explore the seafarer's emotions as he sets off.

From the quote above, we can already see that the seafarer is eager and excited to leave the land. The next few lines provide the conflicting emotion:

But there isn't a man on earth so proud, 
So born to greatness....
...
That he feels no fear as the sails unfurl,

So while the seafarer is excited for the new voyage, he is also afraid of the dangers it may bring. These dangers are even more worrying for the seafarer, because they may be completely out of his control (Fate/God, etc.).

Another set of conflicting emotions are loneliness and freedom:

no passion for women, no worldly pleasures
...
My soul roams with the sea, the whales'
Home, wandering to the widest corners
Of the world...

Sources:

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