The Seafarer Questions and Answers

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What is your first impression of the speaker in this poem? What is his life like? What does he believe in and hope for?

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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 each of these sections, the narrator displays a different attitude and reveals more layers of his personality. Thus the first impression derived from reading the initial section of the poem is superficial and incomplete.

The impression readers get from the initial section of the poem is that the narrator lives a life of extreme physical and metal hardship on long ocean voyages. He appears almost envious, but also slightly contemptuous, of people who live easy lives of luxury in cities. He describes loneliness and cold and hunger but even early in the poem seems to have positive feelings about seabirds. It is only as readers progress through the poem that they encounter a more positive view of the life of the seafarer and his deep piety.

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My first impression of the seafarer is that he is someone...

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