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    "The Seafarer" as a Dialogue

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    I am examining the Anglo-Saxon poem, the Seafarer, and the idea that the poem could represent two separate voices acting as a dialogue between a young seafarer and older seafarer. The poem shows a drastic change midway through, leading to the idea that the content could be a dialogue.
    Trying to understand and see this point while studying the poem, I would like to know what evidence and examples from the poem could be used to support this?
    Thanks so much!

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    Solution Preview

    First, this is a very interesting reading of the poem, and I think well worth pursuing. If you were working on "The Seafarer" for an advanced course in an English major or graduate program, you might want to reference Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogic, although at a first year level, you really don't need to cite literary theory.

    Another possible theoretical framework is orality-literacy theory, which looks at how early oral compositions were often built up by multiple bards, each adding different contributions to a work, rather than by singular authors. Thus you could also look at the different voices in the poem as being composed by different authors, or forming different historical layers in the evolution of the ...

    Solution Summary

    This answer helps students analyze the voice of the speaker or speakers in the Old English poem "The Seafarer." It looks at the poem in relation to theories of oral composition.