Essay about Analysis Of The Poem ' The Seafarer '

Essay about Analysis Of The Poem ' The Seafarer '

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The fear of being sent, either by force or self enforced, into exile was a common fear of the Anglo-Saxon society. This exile could be interpreted both as an exile on Earth and exile from Heaven to Earth. To be exiled means to be utterly alone with only thoughts to accompany a person. The possibility of exile was terrifying to the Anglo-Saxon people because they were so dependant on the village or town they lived in along with the people in it. A warrior would live to serve his lord in battles. Without a lord or community, there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. As the Christian religion crept into Anglo-Saxon culture, religious metaphors also began to show in the ancient text. The exile these people feared could also be interpreted as being banished from heaven to live on earth. From this interpretation, it was thought that if one lived a good life, he or she would be reunited with God eventually.
The epic poem “The Seafarer” revolves around a man who is in exile in the sea. His exile is self enforced because of his desire to explore new places through travel at sea. His travels happen in the middle of winter. He greatly wishes to return to his homeland where he would be able to socialize in the mead hall with his comrades. Instead, he bares through winter, alone. When spring comes, the seafarer only feels worse because of his wunderlust. He wishes to travel to faraway places. No matter his surroundings, he finds no satisfaction because his soul is dark and lonely. The seafarer expresses his sadness through these lines in the poem: “No passion for women, no worldly pleasures, nothing, only the ocean’s heave; but longing wraps itself around him” (lns. 45-48).
Being lost at sea was a real fear for the Anglo-Saxon people. To ...


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... 42-45).
Exile in Old English literature was a common theme. This theme was used so commonly because of the fearful role it played in all lives of Anglo-Saxons. There were many ways to interpret exile in their lives whether it be Earthly or Heavenly. Being in exile meant many things to Anglo-Saxons including pain, both emotionally and physically, loneliness, and suffering. These people relied so heavily on their community. If they did not have other people to lean on, they would not survive. As we see in “The Seafarer”, “The Wanderer”, and “The Wife’s Lament”, exile is a tremendously horrible happening in a life. However, while in exile each narrator reflected on the good and bad in life. They thought of how much they missed the company of other people. The fear of being sent, either by force or self enforced, into exile was a common fear of the Anglo-Saxon society.

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