Exile As A Common Source Of Being Barred From One 's People Essay

Exile As A Common Source Of Being Barred From One 's People Essay

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Exile is defined as the state of being barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons. Many Anglo-Saxon writings involve exile or the fear of being separated from one’s people. For Anglo-Saxons, the bond between family and friends was one of the most important aspects of life; kinship was very significant in this ancient society. Being forced to be alone and astray from one’s kin was thought to be one of the worst forms of punishment. People did not know how to function by themselves, as they were used to routine. On the other hand, however, some Anglo-Saxons chose to exile themselves, whether it be out of curiosity, the longing for adventure, or feeling like they did not belong anymore. Whatever the case, exile seems to be a very common source of Anglo-Saxon anxiety, and the lyrics “The Seafarer,” “The Wanderer,” and “The Wife’s Lament” provide examples of this ever-present threat.
Several examples of exile can be found within “The Seafarer.” The narrator of this poem is a lonely, troubled man. He begins his tale by describing some of the numerous hardships he faces at sea. The waves are violent and the air is frigid. The cold binds the narrator’s feet, and his soul is hungry for something the world cannot offer. Life at sea is not by any means enjoyable; even the tern mentioned in line 24 seems to be as miserable as the seafarer. However, the seafarer feels as if he is being called to travel the frozen sea, and he experiences a deep longing for something more than the comfortable life on land. While the narrator enjoys the pleasures and warmth of lounging in the mead-hall with his kinsmen, he knows he cannot stay. His soul is constantly pulling him out to sea to search for a fore...


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...e the men both learned new things about themselves and about the meaning of life, the wife was left confused and hurt.
Several examples of exile can be found in the lyrics “The Seafarer,” “The Wanderer,” and “The Wife’s Lament.” As an Anglo-Saxon, kinship was of utmost importance, and these three poems demonstrate the disastrous effects of being isolated from one’s kin. Without family and friends, life was rough, especially displayed in “The Wife’s Lament.” Though the journey through exile was a hard feat, it sometimes led to self-discovery and aided in determining the faith and values of men. The common phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” proved true in “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer.” Both men faced their exile with adversity and courage, emerging from their solitude with a newfound sense of the meaning of life.

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