Give a summary of Old English Elegiac poem Deor's Lament? A summary of each stanza

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Michael Ugulini eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stanza 1 Summary:

Deor talks about Weland who went into exile and suffered major emotional and physical pain. Weland was in a cold dungeon and was in effect a displaced person who had to endure exile with courage in the hopes it would pass and he would be freed once again.

Stanza 2 Summary:

Beadohild is distraught over the death of her siblings and her pregnancy now. She believes her life is on the wrong track now and that she has no future hope. However, again, the indication by Deor is that this time of trouble for Beadohild may pass and she may come through it to a happier stage in her life.

Stanza 3 Summary:

In this stanza, Geat's laments for his loved one - Matilda. He missed her so much that he couldn't even sleep. Deor indicates in this stanza that time will heal is sorrow somewhat - that this terrible time will pass.

Stanza 4 Summary:

The indication in this stanza is that Theodric ruled his realm with an iron hand and that the inhabitants of this realm were burdened by this and hoped that this time of oppression would end.

Stanza 5 Summary:

Ermanaric, similar to Theodric above, ruled his kingdom without mercy on others. He was a cunning king - likened to a wolf - and even warriors feared him and wished his rule would end. Deor again gives a word of hope that this terrible time passed away - as did the terrible times mentioned above.

Stanza 6 Summary:

In this stanza, Deor says that a man, if he constantly dwells on his troubles and plight, will feel that his problems are unsolvable. He then says that the Lord gives honor and a good station to some in life, and hardship and trouble to others. This happened to Deor who was replaced by another -  he held a good position in the kingdom - but then was replaced and this is Deor's Lament. He hopes this time will pass and that he will be restored to his fine position serving his overlord.