Battle Of Maldon Analysis

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The original manuscript of the ‘Battle of Maldon’ was destroyed in the Ashburnham House fire in 1731. Some of the poem has been lost however, it is not entirely clear how much. Consequently, this poem is a particularly difficult poem to comprehend as it is unclear what this poem is clearly trying to convey as readers are unsure what the entirety of the poem is about due to the loss of the beginning and end of the manuscript. The ‘Battle of Maldon’ poses a challenge to scholars as there are two different types of elegies which include a heroic elegy and a religious elegy. These elegies are interconnected together throughout the poem. The beginning of the poem determines the mood and feeling within the poem. Byrthnoth, the leader of the Anglo-Saxons, orders his army to stand together against the invasion of the Vikings without their horses. However, this consequently makes defeat possible. ‘Then Byrthnoth ordered each of his warriors/ to release their horses, to hurry them far away...’ (Lines 2-3).…show more content…
At the beginning of the poem, the seafarer reminisces on his past. The speaker vividly describes his sufferings in life on the sea. He describes his loneliness, the cold conditions of the sea and his seclusion on the sea in contrast to his past life on the land with his kinsmen, happiness and free from fear and insecurity. ‘There I heard nothing/ but the roaring sea,/ the ice-cold wave’ (Lines 17b- 18b). Throughout the entirety of the poem, there is a contradiction between elegies. As Professor C.W Kennedy states; ‘a poem which, through a unit, divides somewhat definitely into two contrasting sections generally corresponding to two types of experience in the life of the unknown author’ (Kennedy, C.W). This may be a challenge for scholars to work with the text, as the poem is in two sections which may conclude that the poem is either two halves or rather two different

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