The of the poem to understand what is

The writing was deliberately created to be
inconclusive to make the reader reflect the situation of the woman. Like many riddles
that are composed, the intention is to make the reader think and critique the
evidence of the poem to understand what is truly occurring. If the author of
“The Wife’s Lament” provided the reader with all the details of what caused the
woman’s sorrow, the severity of the situation and how being abandoned can cause
such pain, wouldn’t be understood to the same extend. Although an experience
such as the one the woman endured can cause sorrow and feelings of despair, it
is unavoidable to also feel anger.

A common characteristic of a riddle is
gnomic wisdom, which is evident in “The Wife’s Lament”. A gnomic message is one
which is short in length but signifies great meaning and is often difficult to
interpret. This feature is found in “The Wife’s Lament” closing stanza lines
41-52. With the intensity of the words, many scholars ponder whether the
speaker’s gnomic message is a, “reflection on the sorrows of life or as her
outright curse upon a man who has wronged her” (Niles 1107). With the oppression
of women being significant in the early periods, much ignorance towards the
female gender was implemented and “within the structures of Anglo-Saxon culture
women were essentially mute” (Desmond 574). Therefore, utilizing poetry, in the
form of a riddle, to express the heartache and sorrow of abandonment and
mistreatment by her husband. The use of a riddle to express this woman’s life
signifies how women were often unheard in that culture and having a message
disguised by metaphorical meaning and allusions is often how women would feel; their
stories were covered up to become a mistery and treated as unimportant.

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Through numerous supporting details, it is
evident that the unknown author of “The Wife’s Lament” constructed this riddle with
intentions of disguising a powerful message to others regarding the horrid
treatment the woman endured because of abandonment and heartbreak. It is
especially apparent as the storyline progresses through use of figurative
language, inverse comparisons and gnomic wisdom, that there is much more to the
poem rather than illustrating the woman lamenting for her lost or absent lover.
As pieces of this transcription, from the Book
of Exeter, is dissected and critically analyzed the truth behind the riddle
with reference to connotative words and allusions to the afterlife, is
dramatically revealed. Unfortunately, the actuality can be haunting such as the
case with the grief-stricken woman who battled the unfortunes of oppression and
abuse. With the result being death, it is a reality check to people today to
understand the realism of this, as it was then, also how similar this situation
is to the present world. It is important for others to read this riddle, so
they can understand the severity of the woman’s sorrow and why she is longing.