The Wife's Lament Essay

The Wife's Lament Essay

Length: 1530 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Wife's Lament

Over the years, there have been many interpretations of who the speaker of The Wife’s Lament could be. These range from very interesting ideas to ones that seem a little rough around the edges. It is obvious that no sure answer can be found due to the fact that whoever wrote this poem is dead and that the answer will always be in speculation even if it is correct. Hopefully, at the end of this quest I will be slightly more enlightened as to who the true speaker may really be.

There are some things that we do know about this poem. It is most often referred to as an elegy because of the mood of mourning and regret. Upon further reading I discovered that this poem is like others of its time period. Many parallels can be seen between The Wife’s Lament and The Wanderer. The Wanderer is a poem about a man that is exiled due to war and details his miserable life in the wintry wilderness. Another poem that resembles The Wife’s Lament is Wulf and Eadwacer. In both of these poems, the speaker is interpreted to be a woman unlike other poems of the time. Wulf and Eadwacer is about a woman who has been involved with two men, the dreaded love-triangle. When the woman was separated from her lover, Wulf, she is taken into the comforting arms of another man, Eadwacer. This causes her much happiness but also pain over the lost love of Wulf. Thus the lament of this woman is very similar to the speaker in The Wife’s Lament.

The various interpretations of The Wife’s Lament may argue on who the speaker is, but there is one thing that can not be denied. There is no doubt that this poem is about lamenting exile and the trials the speaker must face due to this exile. No matter who the speaker is, he/she is wroug...

... middle of paper ...

... I think that anyone that reads this poem should be told about this interpretation so that they can at least consider it.

The question of who is speaking in The Wife’s Lament will never be answered because there are too many facts that aren’t provided. It would have been wonderful if the poet would have stated straight away that the speaker was a woman or a goddess or any of the other possible people or things. The only thing that readers of this poem can do is take all of these interpretations into consideration and use them to form their own idea of who the speaker is. I am very glad that I was introduced to this work and that I had the possibility to examine the various arguments of who is speaking. I think that when reading any piece of literature it should be looked at in a similar fashion as trying to pick apart who is speaking in The Wife’s Lament.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Poem ' Wife 's Lament ' Essay

- In the poem “Wife’s Lament”, the wife goes through a series of emotions that has occurred due to her isolation between her and her husband and also being unaware of why she is put in the position of being alone. She begins to reminisce on events from her past and often adds input on how it correlates to what she is feeling now. Although this poem is filled with sorrow, yearn and isolation, I believe this is a poem about repentance towards her husband. During this time period, women were only submissive to their husbands and that was the way things had to be....   [tags: Woman, Marriage, Wife, Love]

Powerful Essays
1273 words (3.6 pages)

Faith Versus Fate in the Poems "The Seafarer", "The Wanderer", and "The Wife's Lament"

- The Seafarer, The Wanderer, and The Wife’s Lament all contains faith verses fate. The three poems are very similar and very different. The three poems ranging from a lonely man, to a lost soldier, to a wife’s bedrail. The medieval poems show hurt, confusion, and loneliness. The Seafarer, The Wanderer, and The Wife’s Lament all contain keening in the personalized poems, in many lines. The Wanderer is a poem based on a soldier who went into exile because of the death of his dear lord. In line twenty three, a keening is shown, “gold-lord.” In this keening the soldier is looking for a great lord who will treat he as is past lord did....   [tags: Poetry Analysis, Compare/Contrast]

Powerful Essays
649 words (1.9 pages)

Loneliness in The Seafarer by Bradley and The Wife's Lament by Stanford

- When exiled from society, loneliness becomes apparent within a person. The poems The Seafarer translated by S.A.J. Bradley and The Wife?s Lament translated by Ann Stanford have a mournful and forlorn mood. Throughout each poem exists immense passion and emotion. In the two elegiac poems there is hardship, loneliness and uncertainty for each character to live with. The Wife?s Lament speaks movingly about loneliness, due to the speaker projecting the lonesomeness of the women who was exiled from society....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
362 words (1 pages)

The Absence of Women in Beowulf, The Wife's Lament, and the Battle of Maldon

- The Absence of Women in Beowulf, The Wife's Lament, and the Battle of Maldon It could be argued that women are indeed present in the minority in surviving Anglo-Saxon poetry, and that therefore, they are made conspicuous through their absence. The fact they may appear less frequently in Old English Literature does not necessarily mean that women were any less significant in society at this time, although this is the conclusion reached by some. It is assumed that women did, in general, have less important and prominent social roles than men at the time, and the power that they did possess tended to be dictated to them by males....   [tags: English Literature]

Powerful Essays
1929 words (5.5 pages)

The Anglo-Saxon poems, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and The Wife’s Lament

- The Anglo-Saxon poems, “The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” and “The Wife’s Lament” The Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, era of England lasted from about 450-1066 A.D. The tribes from Germany that conquered Britain in the fifth century carried with them both the Old English language and a detailed poetic tradition. The tradition included alliteration, stressed and unstressed syllables, but more importantly, the poetry was usually mournful, reflecting on suffering and loss.1These sorrowful poems from the Anglo Saxon time period are mimetic to the Anglo-Saxons themselves; they reflect the often burdened and miserable lives and times of the people who created them....   [tags: Wanderer Essays]

Powerful Essays
3461 words (9.9 pages)

Common Sense, Ethics, and Dogma in The Wife of Bath Essays

- Common Sense, Ethics, and Dogma in The Wife of Bath In his Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer assembles a band of pilgrims who, at the behest of their host, engage in a story-telling contest along their route. The stories told along the way serve a number of purposes, among them to entertain, to instruct, and to enlighten. In addition to the intrinsic value of the tales taken individually, the tales in their telling reveal much about the tellers. The pitting of tales one against another provides a third level of complexity, revealing the interpersonal dynamics of the societal microcosm comprising the diverse group of pilgrims....   [tags: Wife of Bath Essays]

Powerful Essays
3341 words (9.5 pages)

Female Representation Of Women : Lady Franklin 's Lament, And Within The Onondaga Madonna

- The female motif is often reflected and portrayed diversely dependent on a writer’s ideals. A writer is at liberty to present a female character as he or she pleases. The female motif is often condemned as weak, passive and submissive; while being portrayed as loving and caring. Female portrayal in literature is riddled with stereotypes and male ideals and notions. Female representation in literature often goes beyond just the basis of gender but is also stereotyped by race and culture. The notion of female representation can differ based upon the culture you identify with, as seen in “Lady Franklin’s Lament” and within “The Onondaga Madonna”....   [tags: Stereotype, Woman, 19th century, Gender]

Powerful Essays
1833 words (5.2 pages)

McFarlane’s Lament: If Only I Had Lived in California Essay

- McFarlane’s Lament: If Only I Had Lived in California… Expressive versus Commercial references as applied to the right of publicity in comic book characters and why sometimes you should just keep your mouth shut. If a comic book publisher created a character called “Puma Woods,” a golf superstar who discovers he can literally charm the pants off women with his fantastical (and clearly fictional) ability to mentally control the desires of all females - except his own wife. - and becomes a superheroic love-making lothario, it wouldn’t take much analysis to figure out which public figure was being referenced....   [tags: Comic Books]

Powerful Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about A Relationship Between A Wife And Wife

- Lessons for Women explains the relationship between a husband and wife, the respect and caution the husband and wife must have for each other, and the devotion a wife should have to her husband. Bisclavret is about a man named Bisclavret who turns into a werewolf. His wife is worried about their relationship and asks him about his transformation and finds out his weakness. She uses his weakness against him out of fear, betraying him and leaving him for someone else. After a year of being apart, they see each other again and Bisclavret attacks her....   [tags: Wife, Marriage, Husband, Woman]

Powerful Essays
970 words (2.8 pages)

Lament Essay example

- Lament I have matured, and, at the proper time, the winnower will come for me. I will be ready. I have cast off my seed into the rich humus born of past generations. It has taken root, and now sings its own Song of Spring Where are the songs of Spring. Ay, where are they. Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-- John Keats, “To Autumn” It is fitting on this day of cold bluster and unsentimental sunlight to write of endings. Spring, so recently past, seems a dream. Was it so long ago that I, like spring, burst onto the scene....   [tags: Personal Narrative Writing]

Free Essays
1429 words (4.1 pages)