Beowulf and "The Seafarer" Beowulf and "The Seafarer" are two works of literature that portray the attitude and the feelings people had in the Anglo-Saxon times. These feelings give the reader a more accurate representation of how society worked back in those times. Both pieces have similar feelings such as fear, bravery and religious ideas. These abstract feelings interact with each other to create conflicts that make the work interesting to the reader. Although these feelings are opposite inside each piece of work, they are similar between the two. One of the easiest feelings to spot is fear.
The narrator of Beowulf describes fear and creates a type of suspense that makes the reader feel how the characters do. For example, when the Grendel is attacking the Hall and kills everyone in it, the reader is able to sense the fear and misery the people are feeling. In "The Seafarer" the narrator creates an atmosphere were he explains the misery and the fears of seafaring. Then there is the big fear of never returning. A fear that wraps all seafarers, a fear of no return, a fear that seafarers have to live everyday of their lives and every morning they awake. As a result, we can say that just as the people of He rot fear the Grendel, the seafarers fear the possibility of never coming back.
To deal with this strong and uncontrollable fear, the characters in both literary works have to come up with a solution or remedy. This is when the feeling of bravery emerges and overtakes the weak and negative feeling of fear. In Beowulf, the narrator personifies bravery through the main character, Beowulf. Beowulf is able to stand up against anything that comes his way, including the Grendel. This personification creates a heroic character filled with bravery, giving the story a new conflict, fear versus bravery.
In the same way, in "The Seafarer", the narrator at first has the weak feeling of fear but then is overtaken by the seafarer's stronger will to go to sea. This bravery takes the reader into a different and opposite world, as if a new narrator was introduced. Bravery is a feeling we are able to see in both poems, as a personification and as a personal achievement. Another important aspect of the poems is that they both have similar ideas toward religion.
The aspect in which they are alike is their views of fate. Both narrators express their ideas about fate in the way, they decide how your life will develop and which obstacles you will overcome. Fate was really important in the novel because it set the way the stories developed and the characters always blamed or thanked fate for their lives. Both Beowulf and "The Seafarer" are stories that share similar feelings and therefore both narrators share their ways of expressing themselves. On both stories, the feelings of bravery and fear play an important role on the story's resolution. From both narrators we can perceive their similar feelings.
The feelings in both novels are always in internal conflict, differentiating only in the fact that one is personified and the other on isn't.