Anonymous: The Wife's Lament

(1916 words)
  • Juan Camilo Conde-Silvestre (Universidad de Murcia)

The Wife’s Lament is an anonymous Old English poetic text included in folios 115a and 115b of Exeter, Cathedral Library 3501, [see separate entry on the Exeter Book]. The condensed expression of the first person speaker’s feelings and emotions along the 53 lines of the poem’s text, the lack of contextual information on who the speaker is or what his/her circumstances may be, in addition to some syntactic and semantic obscurities, have made of this medieval English text a very complex one, for which, accordingly, a number of different, even irreconcilable, interpretations have been given.

Linguistic evidence – the feminine inflection of …

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Conde-Silvestre, Juan Camilo. "The Wife's Lament". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 December 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]