Tuesday, September 25, 12
Each struggles with the storms of life. The long nights fighting the icy cold seas. Ideas fill minds with despair and doubt. Some struggle with the knowledge of coming danger, others with the fear of not knowing. “The Seafarer” is an elegy that compares the sea to the fear of everyman, of every struggle and hardship. However, contained in this elegy is also the answer to these fears. The author depicts the value that one should not be concerned with this world, but rather to take joy in the Lord. The author of “The Seafarer” describes the sea as a grave for young men and a chance for a life filled with God. The author uses personification to depict the sea as it really was, an evil being that drew men into its icy waves of doom. The Anglo-Saxons were faced with the decision everyday to toy with death at the clutches of this beast. In lines 2-3 the author describes how “The see took me, swept me back and forth in sorrow and fear and pain.” The personification the speaker gives to the sea is that of an old, drunk father who grabs his own sons after drinking and beats them. With pain, the people living on land view the sea in this manner. In lines 4-5 the speaker describes how the sea showed him the pain and suffering in hundreds of ports and ships. This hyperbole can also be viewed as personification. Pain and suffering can be viewed as the abusive father, whereas the ports and ships can be viewed as a mothers care and protection. This idea shows that the Anglo-Saxons viewed the sea as an evil creature that drew them into its grasp. The speaker than changes the tone and describes how man should not be concerned with worldly possessions “The wealth of the world neither reaches to heaven nor remain” lines 66-67, but instead the speaker tells readers that one should “fear God and strive for treasures in heaven” lines 99-100. Treasure intended for heaven, but...