Religion In The Seafarer

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Living in a time of brutality and spiritual ignorance, the Anglo-Saxons transmitted their feelings of isolation and despair through their writing. Despite evoking a morbid tone throughout the first half of “The Seafarer”, the speaker sheds a light of hope in the second half. Here he acknowledges the power of God and highlights the righteous path. Those descriptions are indicative of the Christian faith. The speaker’s struggle is an allusion to the Anglo-Saxon community’s struggle in finding the rightful God. And so “The Seafarer” serves as a form of propaganda that seeks to promote the conversion from Paganism to Christianity. The speaker tells a tale of his people’s shameful culture, and urges them to find safety in the hands of God the Almighty.…show more content…
If a family member was killed, it was customary that the family collect wergild, or compensation, in the form of money. Revenge was often seeked, but there was a major emphasis placed on monetary compensation, as this custom was regulated by law (Britannica). The speaker denounces this practice when he says, “A brother opens his palms and pours down gold on his kinsman’s grave . . . but nothing golden shakes the wrath of God”(96-100). As Laszlo Iliasics notes, “[H]e proceeds to elaborate on the futility of earthly goods”. And so when the speaker says,“The wealth of the world neither reaches to Heaven nor remains”(66-67), it is evident that the speaker laments the fact that his culture places such an importance on money and land (BBC). As Neil Isaacs explains, the speaker’s suffering takes on two forms: physical and emotional. Descriptions of physical suffering such as, “my feet were cast . . . bound with frost”(8-9), refer to the Anglo-Saxons’ inability to free themselves from their sinful ways. On the other hand, phrases such as “hunger tore at my weary soul”(11-12) and “whirled in sorrow, alone in a world blown clear of love”(15-16), refer to the absence of an optimistic belief in a barbaric world. Their hunger is their yearning for a faith that provides a path to salvation instead of one that declares fate as unchangeable (Pace). The world blown clear of love is the Dark Ages, an era riddled with violence, when

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