Have you ever had to endure a breakup because a family member did not approve of you? After reading all three poems, The Wife’s Lament is the best compared to The Seafarer and The Wanderer. It is one of the fewest poems from the Anglo-Saxon period that contain a female speaker. The Wife’s Lament is easy to comprehend for those with difficulty reading and deciphering older english text. The Wife’s Lament also shows that modern times compared to the past have not changed much compared to similar situations and scenarios.
The Wife’s Lament has the same characteristics of sorrow and exile as the other two poems, but what makes The Wife’s Lament different is that it also contains mourning over a loved one. The Wife’s Lament is better than the other poems because the theme is unique, the purpose is better presented, and the literary devices are easier to pick out. What I personally liked about The Wife’s Lament is that it is more unique with its theme compared to the other poems. The three poems each have the same theme of being exiled, but what makes The Wife’s Lament different is that the wife has been exiled by her beloved due to a plot.
I didn’t like The Seafarer because the speaker chose to go with his/her own path rather than to stay where they were. The Seafarer is more of a person seeking for purpose and having a spiritual awakening. In The Wanderer, the theme of being exiled takes a drastic and depressing turn as you read further down to the end; it sounds like there are two speakers telling the story, one of which the story belonged to spoke in a depressing manner and made me feel rather emotional. The Wife’s Lament is a good example of an elegy; it is meant to be a song sung by a woman about mourning the loss of her loved one. For instance, I liked how in The Wife’s Lament, the wife has been exiled and still awaits for the day to reunite with her beloved. I did not particularly like that the author’s purpose of The Seafarer was to isolate yourself from others by choice in order to find salvation.
I also did not like that in The Wanderer, he chose to find a new lord because his lord had died. However, each of these poems have fate in common; each of the three speakers feel that they need to move themselves because of their fate. The Wanderer was searching for a new lord, The Seafarer was seeking purpose, and the wife was returning back to her husband. All things considered, The Wife’s Lament has the best purpose because it has several different themes to it: exile, love, and mourning.
Next, The Wife’s Lament has many great literary devices. I love the use of kennings in this poem; “While I at dawn am walking alone under the oak tree through these earth halls.” (line 35-36) , “earth-hall” referring to burial mounds. In The Wanderer, it has more caesuras than kennings, making it harder for me to understand the less obvious literary devices.
However, with that being said, I do not like the use of caesuras in The Wife’s Lament. It sounds like the wife possibly lost her train of thought while speaking. In The Seafarer, it has a lot of caesuras, but it is rather hard to pick out the kennings.
I don’t like the use of rhyme in The Seafarer either, it isn’t clearly stated as other literary devices. In conclusion, I believe that The Wife’s Lament has the best use of kennings and literary devices because they are clearly stated in a unique way.