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Finding Jesus in The Wanderer

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Finding Jesus inĀ  The Wanderer

During the Middle Ages, banishment was a devastating occurrence which plagued many Anglo Saxons. Upon being exiled, men were forced to travel the barren world alone in hopes of finding a new lord under whom they could serve. From this point on, melancholy and loneliness stood as the emotional basis on which every thought and dream was based. Until successfully locating a new mead hall and fellow companions, these loners were forced to look to themselves for comfort, or if they were lucky enough to realize it, the Lord. Not every exiled kinsmen was spiritual enough to grasp the realization that Christ was a stable means of service, unlike the leaders of their former kingdoms. In the elegy "The Wanderer" the exiled earth-dweller is one of the gifted who turns to the Lord for comfort in his time of need. This wanderer travels the road of loneliness and suffers his share of "winters in this world's kingdom" (Wanderer 68). After the suffering came the comfort, and the earth-dweller was able to revive his life and come to serve an everlasting kingdom from which he would never be exiled or lonely again. "The Wanderer" stands as a virtuous monument of spiritual recognition and an example of the process of healing which religious belief can accomplish.

In the original manuscript of "The Wanderer," the word "Lord" is not capitalized in the opening paragraph of the poem as it is in the Norton Anthology edition. I believe that by the editors capitalizing the word "Lord," the direct context of the poem is manipulated in a way which takes away from its intended meaning. My thesis is based on the fact that the word "Lord" in the first paragraph of the poem should have remained in lower case status.


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... bow in honor and bear treasure, but the Lord which was responsible for all creation: God. "It will be well with him who seeks favor, comfort from the Father in heaven, where for us all stability resides" (Wanderer 70). The wanderer has now completed the cycle which he began in the beginning of the poem by referring to his kingdom lord as the almighty. Stability lies in the "high-earth" where Christ resides, not in the "middle-earth" with his former kingdom's lord. The earth-dweller was able to go through a complex process of self-healing in order to reach his desires for stability. Now he will never be alone. He will always live in the company of his true Lord: the one who gave him salvation and guided him through the journey of his soul.

Works Cited:

"The Wanderer." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. M.H. Abrams. 6th _ed. New York: Norton, 1993.

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