The Wanderer is an elegiac poem. Describe the scope of his lament.

The scope of the wanderer's lament is very wide indeed. He's sad for the loss of a way of life that shaped his entire being. Far from friends, family, and society, he's forced back on his own limited resources. Thankfully, he's able to find comfort and solace in embracing Christianity.

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Anglo-Saxon warriors and poets lived in or near the mead hall of their lord. They depended on their lord for their land and their sustenance in return for loyalty in battle and entertainment in the mead hall. The lord showered his followers with gifts and security, and the followers, called the "comitatus," or the thanes, graciously accepted the gifts and basked in the security. So when something went wrong—when a thane (be he a warrior or a poet) was deprived of his lord by death or exile—that thane's whole world came apart at the seams. He was set adrift in a bleak, hostile world and faced with a lonely, sad existence.

This is exactly what has happened to the wanderer and what he laments. He is an "anhaga," a lone-dweller (line 1), who travels, "modcearig," heart-troubled (line 2), over the "hrimcealde sæ," frost-cold sea (line 3). His beloved kinsmen have fallen in battle; not one is still living. He is deprived of his home and his "goldwine," his gold-friend (line 22), his lord...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1190 words.)

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