However, this simple meaning is contradictory to two sections of the poem: the Wife's description of her grief, and her speculation of her husband's exile. The poem's date is impossible to determine except that it must have been composed and written down before the Exeter Book, in which its sole surviving copy was found, was donated to the Exeter Cathedral library by Exeter's first bishop, Leofric, upon his death in 1072. He believes that the lord imprisoned his wife in an oak tree after being pressured to do so by his kinsmen. Both the interpretations, as with most alternatives, face difficulties, particularly in the latter case, for which no analogous texts exist in the Old English corpus. While being owned by a certain lord they would often get passed around from one lord to another in attempt to make peace, even to be traded off or exchanged between lords and lordships.
The topics of the Exeter Book's poems are widely varied, and sometimes poems on a similar topic are repeated, so scholars distinguished them by Roman numerals indicating their manuscript order. Mallard, Mamzelle Aurlie, Casilda, and the grandmother in some ways conform or break this stereotypical role that society sees women as being. The poem has been relatively well-preserved and requires few if any emendations to enable an initial reading. The Wife knows that her husband is also filled with anguish and constantly reminded of the happy home he has lost. Indeed, this is what the harsh juxtaposition of line 29 communicates: in these lines, the natural world doubles the self. That even in a ten-thousand-day journey, with age a man would come to his sensing, understanding the fantasy during reality that good women do not exist. Woe is me, sadness, sad, I am so sad, gonna put on the stereo and cry my eyes out, kind of sad.
Composers of this time shaped or molded a musical language to depict the affections. The wife experiences loneliness through the passing of time, wishing for the life of happiness she had once known. She also complains that her lover ordered her to settle in a new region, where she had no friends and felt lost, alone and out of sorts. She moved to this strange place where she had no friends, which made her sad and lonely. The dales are dark with high hills up above, Sharp hedge surrounds it, overgrown with briars. It can also be the doorway to receiving counsel. Gnomic wisdom is an opinion or a warning that is relatable to the reader, located at the end of a poem Definition, The Free Dictionary.
Notice that the setting in both poems is related to the emotional state of the speaker. For instance, all the titles of these poems have been given to them by modern scholars. How the injustice assails me—my lord's absence! Old is this earth-cave, all I do is yearn. In the closing movement, the poem repeats for the second time an extended description of a character in an unfortunate natural or semi-natural setting; in both cases, the description of place reflects something essential about the character within it. She begins by speaking about herself, but eventually passion drives her to speak about the one she loves, or hates. No matter which version of the poem one favours, it uses complex and microscopic echoes, allusions and doublings to build up a subtle portrait of her perception of her experience.
However, there are very few places where the speaker compares her current sadness to her happier past: lines 22-4 describe a romantic pledge, but also mention death and focus on rupture. And, when someone in authority disagrees with her, she relies on her experience. Most noticeably, each of these poems consist of a solitary narrator describing exile, the sea, and the threat of hostile forces. I believe that if the speaker were male then there would be no real reason for his being exiled in this fashion. He is a writer with philosophical and theological interests. It's unclear if he was exiled, or left voluntarily.
The obscurity of the narrative background of the story has led some critics to suggest that the narrative may have been one familiar to its original listeners, at some point when this particular rendition was conceived, such that much of the matter of the story was omitted in favour of a focus on the emotional drive of the lament. The version below is my modern English translation of one of the greatest poems of English antiquity. One potential route towards reading Old English poetry lies in analyzing the ways that the poet-performer, in conjunction with the audience, conjures a persona. The status of the poem as a lament spoken by a female protagonist is therefore fairly well established in criticism. She shares that ultimately, her lord requested her to live with him in a new country. This problem will return to us when reading poems in Tudor courtly manuscript collections, especially. This may or not be meant to be literally taken.
In either case, considering the tradition of lyric poetry which has come down to us from classical and from popular sources, how might this debate reflect male and female readers' assumptions about marriage relationships as much as it does the interpretation of Anglo-Saxon grammar? Then I, too, left—a lonely, lordless refugee, full of unaccountable desires! I wrack this riddle about myself full miserable, my very own experience. The dominant theme is the contrast of a happy past and a bleak present of isolation. The Prolog is double the size of her Tale, a lot of information about marriage group is given… 2613 Words 11 Pages role s assigned to women by society. So it seems best to apply Occam's Razor and take the speaker at her word. Thematic consistencies between the Wife's Lament and its close relative in the genre of the woman's song, as well as close neighbour in the Exeter Book, , make unconventional treatments somewhat counterintuitive.
She lost her importance and role in society, as well as her sense of belonging. The tribes from Germany that conquered Britain in the fifth century carried with them both the Old English language and a detailed poetic tradition. Old English and Middle English c. This interpretation is at the very least dependent therefore on a contention that perhaps a later Anglo-Saxon copyist has wrongly imposed feminine gender on the protagonist where this was not the original authorial intent, and such contentions almost wholly relegate discussion to the realm of the hypothetical. One such treatment considers the poem to be , in which interpretation the lamenting speaker represents the Church as or as an otherwise feminine allegorical figure.