Anglo Saxon Exile Analysis

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Anglo-Saxon people lived a hard, stoic life. Living on an island where it is often cold posed quite a problem to people not indigenous to the land. One key factor to life was living in large villages to ensure the safety of each individual villager. That is why the concept of exile was a popular fear in society during this time period. Exile meant facing the threats of the land alone and being incapable of providing the security that Anglo-Saxon villages provided. This fear was a very common external and internal conflict in many lyrical works of the time. Poems such as “The Seafarer,” “The Wanderer,” and “The Wife’s Lament” epitomize the particular anxiety of exile, as well as showcasing the lives that these people led.

Exile was a blunt reality, if it occurred to someone it was a detrimental event. While being exiled usually means being expelled by an outside force, it can be brought on indirectly or even self imposed. War and a need to financially fuel their towns and villages led many Anglo-Saxon men away from
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Without them, people would have nobody to lean on in their time of needs and would lead very lonely, painful lives. In “The Wife’s Lament,” a woman mourns for her husband that has not returned from war. Faced with the reality that she cannot survive by herself, she embarks to find the means to support herself around other people. “My man’s kinsmen began to plot by darkened thought to divide us two so we most widely in the world’s kingdom lived wretchedly,”(lns. 11-14) things turned sour for the wife after her husband returned to lies about her deeds. Forced to be exiled from her home and to live alone in the forest by her husband, the wife laments. Just as much as people need support and shelter, they also need love from another. What is so crucial about this form of exile is that the wife’s heart aches for her husband as she must bear the burden of his

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