“Sir Patrick Spens” explores two more important themes. One is mortality: people are born and must die. This is related to the second theme, the role of fate or accident in peoples’ lives. Ballads may or may not have some basis in fact. First, Sir Patrick refuses to believe the fateful notice he is given. Then “the teir blinded his ee,” and he is overcome by sorrow. He becomes angry, crying out, with a touch of paranoia, that someone must be out to get him, “to send me out this time o’ year, / to sail upon the sea.” But no one can choose the time death calls. And despite the omens of doom that his men point out and their desire to avoid death, Sir Patrick and his crew must accept their fate.
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