How Is The Seafarer Related To Religion

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Religion and or spirituality have played a large role in shaping mankind’s life and behavior throughout the course of history. In The Seafarer, translated by Burton Raffel, spirituality is not only a central theme, but also helps illustrate the differences that various religions can have on one’s life span. In the poem, these two cultural practices are known as Paganism and Christianity, both of which have a direct effect in the life of the seafarer. Paganism is mainly the first part of the poem and because of its effect on the seafarer’s life; the early stanzas of the poem seem very grim. As the seafarer is describing his travels at sea he states, “But there isn’t a man on earth so proud. /…That he feels no fear as the sails unfurl,/ Wondering what Fate has willed and will do.”…show more content…
Pagans believe in fate, but they also fear death, as they do not regard the thought of any kind of afterlife. The seafarer explains that there is no one on earth who does not fear dying, but fate is going to do what it wants. He also has the desire to have popularity on earth, as he says, “The praise the living pour on the dead/ Flowers from reputation: plant/ An earthly life of profit reaped” (Anonymous 72-74). It makes sense that because the seafarer does not believe in an afterlife that he would want to be famous and well respected here on earth. Paganism shapes his life by giving him the yearning for someone to love and respect him, though he states he is only loved by the sea. On the other hand, Christianity is overall more influential in the seafarer’s life, even if he is new to the concept of it. In the one of the last stanzas of the poem he affirms, “We all fear God. He turns the earth,/ he set it swinging firmly in space,/ Gave life to the world and light to the sky./ Death leaps at the fools who forget their God.” (Anonymous 103-106). There is a big

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