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A NOTE ON THE INTERPRETATION OF "WULF AND EADWACER"
Vol. 86, No. 3 (1985), pp. 323-327
Published by: Modern Language Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43343670
Page Count: 5
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In the paper I argue the following four points:— (1) The so-called refrain must involve potential danger to Wulf and be a factor in enforcing the separation between him and the (female) speaker of the poem. (2) (a) The beaducafa must be the same man as Eadwacer, the speaker's husband (see (3) below): lines 10-12 describe their first (or first sexual) encounter, (b) This entails that Wulf's absence be divided into two periods: that of wide-wandering and seldcymas (prior to the marriage) and the enclosure on the island (resulting from the marriage). (3) The threat in lines 16-17 involves the parting of what was never joined. The phrase suggests a parody of a marriage; the wife's threat, therefore, should be directed at the husband. Uncerne earne hwelp must be the same man as Eadwacer. (4) Distribution of names and the addresses to Wulf and Eadwacer is a significant (mimetic) poetic device.
Neuphilologische Mitteilungen © 1985 Modern Language Society