Wulf And Eadwacer : They Are One Essay

1692 Words Oct 8th, 2016 7 Pages
Wulf and Eadwacer: They are One
One of the most intriguing mysteries about “Wulf and Eadwacer” is whether or not it is designed to portray a specific plot and a fixed set of characters or is it created to have numerous scenarios derived by its audience. Found in the Exeter Book preceding a section of riddles has led many scholars to believe that this poem’s anonymous author intends for it to have a ”cryptic quality” and be ambiguous (Jones 373). Several varied interpretations of the plot include an adulteress woman longing for her lover, a mother mourning the loss of her son, a woman longing for the return of her husband or lover, and a canine love story, but they all must make unsubstantiated assumptions about the original text to fit their explication (Aertsen 124). According to Greenfield, the “majority of critics have found four characters” in the poem and the plot involves some sort of love relationship (6). Definitively answering who Wulf and Eadwacer are in relation to the speaker and how the hwelp wulf plays into the poem have been a continuous puzzle for many. In agreement with the popular consensus of critics, the theme is about a woman who is longing for her man, but viewing the text using a metaphorical lens and analyzing the play on words, it is apparent that the only two characters used in this poem include the female speaker and her unmarried lover. Numerous critics have examined each word and line of this poem and many have developed similar modern…

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