The Seafarer And The Wife's Lament

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Old English is not a widely understood language. The Exeter Book, written in this language, was not of much importance to civilization until around the 19th century, when a rise in the study of Anglo-Saxon poetry began. Although the first copy ever discovered of the Exeter was around 950 A.D., the first translation, written by Benjamin Thorpe, was not published until 1842. The Seafarer, The Wanderer and The Wife’s Lament make up three of the poems in the Exeter Book. The speaker in The Seafarer tells the story of a man at sea who cannot seem to escape his struggles of isolation. In The Wanderer, a lonely traveler speaks of his loneliness while he reminisces on the good times before his exile. The Wife’s Lament takes the perspective of a women living in exile, unlike the two previous poems in The Exeter, which speak of men. In The Seafarer, The Wanderer and The Wife’s Lament, the authors, unknown to date, reveal that isolation inevitably leads to feelings of loneliness and hardship. The…show more content…
Following the lord’s wishes, the women is forced to “move my dwelling here. I had few loved ones in this land or faithful friends” (line 15). She travels and isolates herself in attempt to be with her husband again. The woman becomes a “friendless exile,” (line 9) oblivious the lord’s kinsmen’s plan to exile her to a place very far from the lord himself. She weeps as he lives in a place that does not offer comfort and longs for “friends there are on earth living beloved lying in bed” (line 33). To emphasize the meaning of each line, the speaker uses caesuras. She wonders where the lord has gone, as she loves this lord so deeply, to her he is “my first on earth” (line 8). Although lonely and facing hardships of her own, she wishes the same upon the lord, for he has committed sinful thoughts of murder. The poem ends with the wife still alone, away from the lord, and enduring

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