2 An allegory is a figurative narrative or description either in prose or in verse that conveys a veiled moral meaning.
3 The seafarer is an old English poem of 124 lines The seafarer is an old English poem of 124 lines. It is also called an Anglo- Saxon elegy. The critics of are of different opinions about its structures & themes.
4 Some critics observe the first part of the poem up to 63 lines as a secular poem & the second part from 54 to 124 as a didactic one. Other view the whole poem as an allegorical representation of human exile from God on the sea of life.
5 The opening part of the poem ostensibly discusses the miseries & attractions of life at sea, before moving by an abrupt transition to moral reflection on transience of life & ending in an explicitly Christian part , concluding with a prayer.
6 The whole scenario may be thought of an allegorical representation of human exile on the sea of life, Exile means living in a foreign land away from one’s home or abode. The life in exile can not be as pleasant & conductive as it in one’s own homeland.
7 The life span in this mortal world for the human race has been considered as an exile from the religious & Christian view point. The seafarer gives an account of his life of hardships & miseries on the sea, “ Sitting day long at an oar’s end clenched against clinging sorrow breast drought I have borne & bitterness to.” Speaking allegorically the sufferings & hardships of the Seafarer are symbolical for the whole human race.
8 Adam our ancestral great father, has been driven out of heaven , the place of eternal bliss & happiness & thrown into this mortal world of sufferings & deaths. Allegorically, it implies that the whole human race has been driven out from the place of eternal happiness & thrown into an exile of eternal hardships & sufferings of this world.
9 From an eternally pure source, human race is put into troubled water of life. The Christian faith upholds that heaven is our permanent abode. Life in this world is a life of exile – temporary stay & life in this world is, as if a troubled sea & we, the human beings are having our voyage here in an uncongenial living condition. Life in this mortal world is a life of exile, because life here is temporary & not eternal.
10 As a human being passes his life of exile from his own home & country, the same is the life of the Seafarer on the sea. He is sea faring amidst all odds, obstacles, hurdles & hostile conditions making his life intolerably painful. He is away from his kith & kin & no brothers or friends are around to share his joys & sorrows.
11 In the voyage of this exile life, the Seafarer realizes the eternal truth of life or the moral reflection – that is life is transient or transitory. “ I do not believe earthly estate is everlasting” This life of the world will come to an end sooner or later.
12 Finally, the Seafarer surrenders to the Christian faith & upholds that only trust in heavenly father can make a human soul see its redemption or salvation. God is our real abode. In him we must trust & to him we must surrender. God, the Almighty is our real protector. So, the life of the Seafarer , his belief in seeking refuge in God has been allegorically portrayed in the poem by the poet.