, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 559–565

Swa cwæð snottor on mode: Four Issues in The Wanderer


DOI: 10.1007/s11061-007-9099-z

Cite this article as:
Wolfe, M.J. Neophilologus (2008) 92: 559. doi:10.1007/s11061-007-9099-z


Of the many issues surrounding the Old English Wanderer, four require further discussion: the basic question of how many speakers there are in the poem, who or what is set up in opposition to the wis wer in the middle of the poem, how the virtue of reticence is reconciled with the existence of the poem, and the question of how the Wanderer experiences grace in the midst of his sufferings. The answers to the first three questions are related: there is only one speaker, the hastiness stands in opposition to the wise man’s wisdom, and clever use of third-person narrative maintains wise reticence while allowing expression of powerful emotions. Finally, the issues surrounding ar can be understood by recognising the multiple types of grace encompassed by the word.


Story tellingGraceDramaWisdomFateFaithHeroic

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of NottinghamNottinghamUK