Exeter Book

How are the exiles of the three speakers in the poems from the Exeter book similar and different?


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The Seafarer

The Seafarer is the titular protagonist of the Anglo-Saxon poem. The character has undertaken voluntary by choosing a life at sea. He starts off by presenting the difficulties of a sailor's life, namely the isolation, the unpredictable weather and the fierce ocean. Despite these challenges, he prepares himself for each new journey. By the end of the poem, he advises his readers to be aware of the transience of earthly life and the strength of the Lord's hand.

The Wanderer

The Wanderer is a bard who is cast off from his kingdom after the death of his Lord. After failing to find a new lord, the Wanderer wanders the earth, feeling lonely, and remembering the comforts of his former life. He, like the Seafarer, ruminates on the transience of earthly life and the power of fate.

The Wife

The titular figure in "The Wife's Lament," who is either imprisoned or hiding under an oak tree in a foreign land. The Wife writes about the pain of being exiled from her husband and subject to the hostilities of his kinsmen. She yearns for her former happy life and has fond memories of her marriage.