The Wanderer

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According to the speaker of "The Wanderer," what main characteristic does a wise person have?

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According to the narrator of "The Wanderer," a wise person's main characteristic is their age. This is the first characteristic listed in the poem, and the narrator believes it is necessary that someone be old for them to have learned all the other lessons a wise person must carry. They must be balanced in many ways: both a warrior but also not too eager to destroy, not too afraid and also not too happy. The narrator implies that this kind of balance comes from having seen things destroyed when they should not have been, just as it comes from seeing things abandoned in careless pleasures. This wisdom is not something that can be taught—it can only be felt in the memories of regret of things done wrong in the past.

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According to the speaker in the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Wanderer," men aren't born wise, and to earn that title, they have a tall order to fill. The speaker explains that wisdom only comes with age and experience. It is only after witnessing war, death, and the destruction of...

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