Seafarer as Beowulf

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The True Seafarer The Old English poem Beowulf, is the most famous Anglo-Saxon piece of literature in history. The poem is the ultimate epic, full of beasts, battles, and triumphant heroes. Beowulf is the main hero in the story. He battles supernatural demons like Grendel and the dragon. In his final battle, Beowulf’s kin all turn on him except for one, Wiglaf. In the battle Beowulf is killed and Wiglaf survives and defeats the dragon. Beowulf announces that Wiglaf will be his successor and says this to him, “ You’re the last of all our far-flung family.” (835) Beowulf is telling Wiglaf he is the last of kin surviving that is a true hero. With Beowulf’s death, Wiglaf becomes the last man with true Anglo-Saxon morals of courage, determination, and heroism. The epic ends with Beowulf’s funeral, but Wiglaf’s lonely fate is never discussed. Another Anglo-Saxon poem is The Seafarer. The poem is told through the eyes of a man who traveling the lonesome sea in search of men who have the same determination and heroism as himself. Even though the man knows there is no one else left like himself, he never stops looking, for that would be giving up and going against his beliefs. This arbitrative man draws many parallels to the traits and life of Wiglaf. It could be said that The Seafarer is an epilogue or continuation to Beowulf. The story of Beowulf is the “high-point” of warriors; it is the model of the Anglo-Saxon morals and traditions. The Seafarer takes place after that is gone, and the only surviving hero is Wiglaf. Wiglaf’s morals would cause him to search for men with these same beliefs, even when knowing it is no longer there. This is exactly what the character, the seafarer, is doing “The time for journeys would come and my soul/ Called me eagerly out, sent me over/The horizon, seeking foreigner’s homes.” (36-38) There are other hints within The Seafarer that

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