Objectives

The main objective of this article is to comparatively study the similarities  and dissimilarities between the two poems “The Wanderer” and  “The Seafarer

Methodology

Books, journal and web article were used to gather the referent data and data was analyzed through comparative  methodology.

Introduction

  • The poems, “The Wanderer” and “The Seafarer” are old English elegies recorded in the Exeter Book.
  • Almost all the poems in the Exeter Book share similar characteristics of themes, language, Anglo-Saxon values and poetic techniques.
  • Both poems are regarded as elegies in which a person lament for the dead.

Discussion and results

The Wanderer

  • The poem, “The Wanderer” is an old English elegy recorded in the Exeter
  • The wanderer is 115 line poem

The Seafarer

  • “The Seafarer” is 124 line poem written in Old English that schools often view as a companion piece to “The Wanderer”
  • “The Seafarer” is one of the most famous Anglo-Saxon elegies and is found only in The Exeter Book.
  • The poem is lyrical and elegiac
  • It has an alliterative rhyme scheme
  • A lyric poem expresses intense personal emotions

Compare and Contrast

  • The Anglo-Saxon poems “The Wanderer” and “The Seafarer” share many of the same elements that make them similar. The Wanderer and the Seafarer, the protagonists, are both exiled from their society
  • Both poems are elegiac narratives in which two narrators reveal their experiences in life.
  • Both poems present a very assertive notion that the security for human beings lies on the heaven
  • In compared to “The wanderer” and “The seafarer” very strongly convey Christian values and end in a Christian solution of Amen.
  • Both Speakers in the poem suffer from loneliness while recalling the rich and congenial past the had with their companinon. The wanderer saying

“He remembers the hall of warriors and the receiving of treasure
How in his youth his gold-friend
Honored him there at feast ”

But the seafarer does not weep repeatedly as the wanderer does. He feels proud of his great birth as;

“The days are gone
when the kingdoms of earth flourished in glory
Now there are no rulers, no emperors
No giver of gold, as once there were”

  • Both speakers understand that the regardless of wealth, glory, social status, etc human life is ephemeral and no body can overcome this nature of life. The theme of impermanence is successfully achieved in both poems.

“Here is wealth transitory here is friend transitory
Here is man transitory here is kinsmen transitory
The foundation of all this earth becomes vain”

The sea farer’s mature understanding is clear as he says;

“All glory is tarnished
The world’s honour ages and shrinks
Bent like the men who mold it. Their faces
Blanch as the time advances, their beards
wither and they mourn the memory of friends
The sons of princes, sown in the dust”

Conclusion

 The Wanderer and The Seafarer are two elegies written by Anglo-Saxons that share many of the same components. The language and the poetic devices of the two poems also exhibit similar characteristics. The poet use various imagery in abundance. Thus overall the both poems have many similarities, and also some differences can be seen in the way the narrators described their experiences.

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