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What historical context can help me understand the line "So have I also, often in wretchedness" from "The Wanderer"?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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You are right to seek out the historical context for this ancient, Anglo Saxon poem in order to understand the meaning of that line. First, let us put the line in context and then talk about its historical significance. The following is from the Old English translation from my own textbook:

So I,

often wretched and sorrowful,

bereft of my homeland,

far from noble kinsmen,

have had to bind in fetters my inmost thoughts

We learn from the first stanza that the speaker feels lonely, "wretched and sorrowful" because he seems destined to wander the open ocean on a sea voyage. During Anglo-Saxon times, sea...

(The entire section contains 313 words.)

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