The Seafarer And Beowulf

Decent Essays

“The Seafarer”, an elegy from the Exeter Book Elegies, discusses the idea that the Anglo-Saxon way of life is fleeting, and the only way to overcome this is living a life free of sin. The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf continuously digresses into stories whose purpose is to teach the main character how to behave in order to become a heroic figure. In the excerpt from first work mentioned, the speaker believes that soon the “pomp” and “lordly fame” associated with the warrior culture of the Anglo-Saxon world will be a thing of the past (82, 85). Conversely, in the Beowulf excerpt, which tells the story of the bad King Heremod, the attitude of the speaker is that warrior culture is a central part of life. The speaker of “The Seafarer” excerpt explains the benefits of being a man who is “humble” and “strong minded” (108, 109). On a similar note, the speaker of the Beowulf excerpt condemns those who are selfish “he gives no golden rings” and “angry” (1749). Both the poem and the epic discuss the ideal way that a man should conduct himself. The importance of these lessons in “The Seafarer” is to live an everlasting life in heaven while in Beowulf the reason is to gain glory on earth and be remembered.
In the pair of excerpts from “The Seafarer” and Beowulf, the speakers are convinced of the urgent need to offer advice to their respective audiences because of a recent or coming change.
The speaker of “The Seafarer” believes that soon the warrior way of life will no longer be

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