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The Seafarer Analysis
Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay
Form and Meter
Note: This analysis refers to the poem in its original language. Get ready for some Old English, people.Okay, awesome readers, hold on tight, because we're about to get a little technical. Unlike...
Our speaker tells us right off the that bat he's going to "make a true song" about himself. Sounds pretty straightforward and autobiographical, right? We're primed and ready for the story of his li...
Well, we call him the seafarer, so it only makes sense that this poem takes place at sea. Adrift in the middle of a relentlessly stormy ocean, all the speaker can hear are the sounds of the surf an...
We'll tell you straight up: it's pretty darn hard to talk about sound in a poem that has been translated. Anglo-Saxon and modern English are so wildly different that they're basically two totally s...
What's Up With the Title?
As it turns out, "The Seafarer" is not the title of this poem. In fact, the poem doesn't have a title at all. We know we just rocked your world, so let us do a little explaining to ease your mind....
Kennings and AlliterationAnglo-Saxon poetry is famous for its "kennings" – highly figurative compound noun constructions. That's just a fancy way of saying that kennings squash together two relat...
In Old English: (10+) Mount Everest… and back againIn translation: (5) Tree LineIf you want to read "The Seafarer" in Old English, get ready to put in some serious study time. Unless you're alrea...
The Exeter Book, the manuscript in which "The Seafarer" is found, was used and abused over the course of its history as everything from a cutting board to a coaster for a beer mug. It was also dama...
PGSex is one of those "earthly" things that travelers like the seafarer just can't take pleasure in, despite the fact that all those "city-dwellers" seem to be able to. He calls it "pleasure in wom...
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