How The Poem “The Seafarer” Provides More Compelling Laments In Comparison And Contrast To The Poems “The Wife’S Lament” And “The Wanderer”

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

In principle, the Anglo-Saxon poems entail those developed using the Old English of the British history, especially between the Norman Conquest of 1066 and the mid-fifth century. The authors focused on the orally transmitted literature with the intentions of oral performances. For example, the poem “The Seafarer” utilizes the system of alliteration to create a rhythm as a characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon poetry. Specifically, it entails the story of a lonely man on a sea voyage and lamenting about his ordeals in the wild waters. He explains the challenges he encounters including the harsh weather, storms, strong winds, loneliness, and separation from his family members. The narrator says “The chains got frozen and my hands stiff”. Similarly, the poem “The Wife’s Lament” depicts the story of a female character reflecting on the loss of her husband. It demonstrates her pain during the life in exile where she feels separated from the family members. The poem illustrates how the lord left the lady at home as he went on the long voyage at sea. She moves about the forest to settle in a cave after realizing the inevitability of her reunion with the husband. Consequently, the poem “The Wanderer” depicts the story of a lone former warrior lamenting over the death of his kin, slaughtered by the enemies. He demonstrates his belief in fate as the component of life and seeks the intervention of his Lord. Therefore, this paper discusses how the poem “The Seafarer” provides more compelling laments in comparison and contrast to the poems “The Wife’s Lament” and “The Wanderer” based on their elegiac mood, alienation, conflict with nature, and the philosophy of survival.

Comparison

Notably, the three poems present the elegiac mood through the narrations whereby the characters express their melancholic states. The narrators desperately seek happiness as the solution to their circumstances. Besides, loneliness and separation permeate in all the three poems as the main characters in all of them move away from their places of comfort to seek happiness. For example, the narrator in “The Wanderer” laments over the loss of his lord, who died of old age. The narrator says “The death of my lord presented a blow to me” to indicate his disappointment. Similarly, the narrator in “The Wife’s Lament” also laments over the loss of her husband, who lives the area to navigate the wilds. Moreover, the narrator in “The Seafarer” also laments over the loss of his crew members to the strong winds and storm at sea. He says “Surviving the wreckage when other die and remaining alone”. The three poems show that the narrators observe life from the single point of view whereby they spend time in solitude. The melancholic tone in the three poems helps to foster the elegiac mood that supports the theme of suffering across the poems. Besides, the three poems entail the intensive use of alliteration by maintaining the consonant to enhance the stress on the syllable.

Further, the poems express the alienation of the characters from the traditional society whereby they encounter solitude in their exile states. For example, the narrator in “The Seafarer” explains the agony of the lonely voyage without the family members or friends. He says “They don’t understand the voyage without seeing family and friends”. Similarly, the narrator in “The Wife’s Lament” also illustrates how she left her town in search for her husband as she ends up in the forest to live in a cave alone. Besides, the narrator in “The Wanderer” also encounters loneliness during his exile at sea. Smithers, the alienation from the traditional society fosters the melancholic tone and the mood in the poems. Significantly, the narrators in the three poems engage in the conflict with nature including the harsh weather and the strong winds. For instance, the narrator in “The Seafarer” explains how the cold weather made the chains to freeze beyond the human touch. The narrator in “The Wanderer” also feels the pain of the harsh weather and seeks the intervention of his Lord for leverage from the suffering.

Contrasts

Fundamentally, the three poems demonstrate different philosophies of survival among the narrators. For example, whereas the narrator in “The Seafarer” focuses on the supernatural forces of the spiritual beings to explore the issues of life, the narrator in “The Wife’s Lament” focuses on human friendship for survival. The narrator in “The Seafarer” says “Submission to the deity provides reprieve”. The narrator in “The Wife’s Lament” says “They separate me from my husband to cause me the pain” to indicate her belief in the union of lovers. Consequently, the narrator in “The Wanderer” indicates his belief in the combination of the spiritual forces and friendship for survival. He says “Believing in God and having responsible friends help to overcome”. The narrator shows that creating friendships coupled with the belief in the deity as the ultimate propositions for survivorship. Essentially, the poem “The Wife’s Lament” deploys the elaborate use of the meter while the “The Wanderer” fails to focus on the use of meter. Further, “The Seafarer” poem provides a combination of the use of alliteration and the meter in the work.

Conclusion

Indeed, “The Seafarer” provides more compelling laments in comparison and contrast to the poems “The Wife’s Lament” and “The Wanderer” based on their elegiac mood, alienation, conflict with nature, and the philosophy of survival. The narrator in “The Seafarer” laments over the loss of his crew members to the strong winds and storm at sea. The three poems show that the narrators observe life from the single point of view whereby they spend time in solitude. The melancholic tone in the three poems helps to foster the elegiac mood that supports the theme of suffering across the poems. Whereas the narrator in “The Seafarer” focuses on the supernatural forces of the spiritual beings to explore the issues of life, the narrator in “The Wife’s Lament” focuses on human friendship for survival.

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