Friday, 15 October 2010

The Seafarer or The Wanderer Essay:

Choose one of the two poems to write an analytical essay. The prompts for each follow.


Choose one of the following and write an essay. You may use your poems and scripts. You will be graded in the following ways:

Thesis statement – 5 points
Order of Development – 5 points
Proof from text – 10 points
Explanation of proof – 10 points


1) The seafarer’s journey is a metaphorical for the state of exile which humans have due to the sin of Adam or Eve; or it is metaphorical for the passage through life the soul takes before it reaches heaven
2) The “Seafarer” is two voices (a dialogue) – the 1st half is a young seafarer, the 2nd half is an older man.
3) Two speeches – one pagan and one Christian written by two different authors.
4) One speaker who has voluntarily exiled himself for the love of God.
5) A Celtic elegy where an exile laments his misfortunes (in this turn – the exile could be due to things that have happened)
6) Interpret the imagery of sea and birds and discuss what it means in relation to the journey.
7) A meditation on life.


The short and fleeting period of life, the transitory nature of the world, often appears as a major theme in many works. Looking at symbols, motifs, diction, tone, imagery, write a well-developed essay in which you explore this theme in the Anglo-Saxon poem, “The Wanderer”. You will be graded on the following: hook, thesis statement, order of development, proof from the text and analysis of text (the last part is worth 40 and the rest 10 pts each). Note that just plain summation will lose points from the analysis section of the scoring. You can compare “The Wanderer” to BEOWULF in your analysis.

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