Elegiac Tone

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  • Topic: American Idiot, Elegiac, Song
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  • Published : October 30, 2012
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Elegaic Tone

In Anglo-Saxon oral tradition, lyric poems have elegiac tone. Both "The Seafarer" and "The Wanderer" are examples of lyric poems with elegiac tone. In "The Seafarer" the speaker is out at sea and is lonely and misses land. in line three the speaker says, "And forth in sorrow and fear and pain showed me sufering in a hundred ships"(3-4). This is a great example of elegiac tone because he is talking about his sowrrows and pains at sea. Another example in "The Seafarer" is when the speaker says "The death-noise of birds instead of laughter, the mewing of gulls instead of mead"(21-22). This shows how lonely the speaker is and is making out these birds to human. In "The Wanderer", a warrior has lost his lord, kingsmen and comrades in battle and is driven into exile. The warrior says, "Homeless and hopless, since days of old, when the dark earth covered my dear lord's face, and I sailed away with sorrowful heart"(20-23). The quote shows how the warrior's life has become quite sad after his lord died and he lost everything. He also says, "When friends are no more, his future is excile, not gifts of fine gold; a heart that is frozen"(27-28). The warrior is talking about the sorrow of losing his friends and missing them. Both poems show great examplers of elegiac tone. But elegiac tone is not only in poems it is also in modern day songs, such as "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day. The song talks about the horrible events that have happened in Sepptemer and the pain it brings. Elegiac tone gives the reader or listener a sense of how the speaker feels making the story or song much more belivable.
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