Literary Devices In The Seafarer

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This essay will examine of how themes and literary devices on transformation permeate Old English Poetry in relation riddles and elegies. Riddles and the elegy The Seafarer from the Exeter Book will be referenced. The themes and literary devices of riddles that focus on transformation that will be discussed are de-conceptualisation, metaphors and imagery. Within elegies the themes that focus on transformation in relation to The Seafarer that will be discussed are the transformation of the Seafarer and the spiritual transformation of the Christian soul. De-conceptualisation is a theme that focuses on the transformation of riddles. In our minds the objects in riddles go through transformations as they want to de-familiarise us from obvious …show more content…
In the poem from the Exeter Book, the Seafarer has chosen to go out to sea, only realising what he had left behind when it was gone. The transformation of him is evident when he recalls life on land compared to what sea life is like, transforming into a sad and lonely man. He is trying to accept life at sea that he initially chose for himself and make the best out of it. However, he cannot seem to as all he can hear is ‘the roaring sea’ (17-18). Out in the lulling sea his heart and soul is back on land while his spirit ponders on the crashing waves of the sea that he cannot escape. This signifies an inner conflict, whether he should go to land or remain out at sea. He transforms his sadness and loneliness into jealously of the kinsman as they have all the luxuries such as wine and gold, while the Seafarer has the basics out at sea. They have the comfort of warmth and home while he has his boat sailing through the cold months of winter. However, he does frown upon the ‘city dwellers’ (54) as they will never understand his self imposed suffering. However, his mind transforms to learn the moral lesson that material items, wealth and power do not stay forever. In agreement with Greenfield, the Seafarer wants in his spirit to keep on sailing as the hardships out at sea will keep his mind astray from the ‘false trust in material things’ (P17) as if you have sinned, your soul cannot take these things with you once you have

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