The Seafarer Discussion Questions

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Given that many people have little idea of how those of former times viewed themselves or their cultural worlds, is it indeed possible for modern readers to relate to an art form and a cultural perspective that is so utterly foreign to postindustrial and postmodern reality? Should we even try to read "The Seafarer" from the original audience's point of view? If this seems impossible, then how should we read this poem? Can we read it any way we wish using reader's response?

Since "The Seafarer" constitutes a form of lyric poetry called elegy—that is, a private reflection upon the tragic aspects of life's transitory nature—how is it similar or dissimilar to elegies from later periods of English literature, such as John Milton's "Lycidas" or Thomas Grey's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"? Is there some quality that links all these poems together despite...

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This section contains 263 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Seafarer Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Seafarer from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.