Why was the wife commanded to leave her home? What do lines 25-26 suggest about her reaction to this event?

2 Answers | Add Yours

englishteacher72's profile pic

englishteacher72 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

The wife in "The Wife's Lament", an old Anglo-Saxon poem, was commanded to leave her home because she has been separated from her husband.  Her husband's kinsmen have plotted against them to keep them apart, for some evil reason.  I do not know if I have the same translation as you, so I cannot look to lines 25-26 to see where you are looking at her reaction.  However, keep in mind that this poem is called "The Wife's Lament".  She is grieving, sad, and distraught.  She is worried about her husband.  She has no idea where he is, or when (or if) he is coming back.  She does not know what to do; in fact, she has nothing to do until he returns.  Her life now seems to be one of sadness and suffering.

jameadows's profile pic

jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

The wife in "The Wife's Lament" was commanded to leave her home because her husband turned against her and his kinsmen tried to separate her from her husband. Though the interpretations of this poem are many and varied, one interpretation is that her husband brought her to a land that was new and hostile to her, where she had no friends or family members. Once settled in this new land, her relationship with her husband seems to have soured, as his family members tried to separate the couple. Lines 25-26 suggest that her marriage has become bitter, and that her reaction to moving to her husband's home and then being forced from that home was entirely negative, as she says that her beloved now hates her. The wife is now forced to live in a cave deep beneath the earth, where she weeps for her troubles. 

We’ve answered 318,914 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question