The Wanderer has loyalty reflected in the story. Can religion also be part of this?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Loyalty is a major theme in Anglo-Saxon works and The Wanderer discusses this loyalty to a power outside of "this earthly kingdom" (line 106 - all quotes are translated). The warrior who tells his tale wants to ensure that wisdom is seen as an essential element of development as no man can "call himself wise, before he has a share of years in the world" (lines 64-65) but, life is fleeting and "all the wealth of this world"(74) will be wasted if Man continues his destructive path.

Even in his isolation, as he treads "the paths of exile," (5) he must remain steadfast. He has searched desperately for "one...who knew my people" (27) as he is lonely and often dreams that he is back in the presence of "his lord." (43) He questions why his spirit "does not darken"(59) when he considers how life is cruel and oppressive. If a warrior trusts in "the Creator of Men" (85), then "the world under the heavens" (107) which suffers so much due to "the famous fate" (100) will endure. The wanderer knows that Man cannot change fate but he suggests that "a wise man must be patient"(65) and not impulsive, which can be interpreted as a religious connotation.

The wanderer's words are summarized by the second narrator who simply begins and ends the warrior's tale. He points out that "Good is he who keeps his faith,"(112) reinforcing the Christian element of the warrior's words. Fate or destiny ("wyrd(e)") is characteristic of Anglo-Saxon works and the narrator links it with Christian principles, giving purpose to the wanderer's words. 

Therefore, the loyalty shown in the story is also of a religious nature, as the wanderer remains loyal to his faith and his Creator.