The Husband’s Message is the monologue of a messenger conveying a lord’s love message to his wife. The literal meaning of the poem seems to be, at fi rst glance, quite clear; however, the presence of some runes and an unexpected division into three sections require more attention. The aim of the present article is to investigate these peculiar aspects according to the methodology of Material Philology in particular. The analysis of the context of the Exeter Book and of the graphic cues characterizing the poem enables us to suggest a possible function for the tripartite layout of the text and to clarify the meaning of the runic message at the end. Moreover, the relation between The Husband’s Message and the closest poems in the codex can shed new light on the meaning of the text revealing a possible, further allegorical level of interpretation. This perspective is also supported by textual analysis: various elements appear to be related to biblical symbols and seem to suggest that the sea journey described in The Husband’s Message could be construed allegorically as the process of conversion every Christian should undergo in order to gain eternal salvation.

(2010). The Husband’s Message: an allegorical sea journey [journal article - articolo]. In LINGUISTICA E FILOLOGIA. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/837

The Husband’s Message: an allegorical sea journey

2010

Abstract

The Husband’s Message is the monologue of a messenger conveying a lord’s love message to his wife. The literal meaning of the poem seems to be, at fi rst glance, quite clear; however, the presence of some runes and an unexpected division into three sections require more attention. The aim of the present article is to investigate these peculiar aspects according to the methodology of Material Philology in particular. The analysis of the context of the Exeter Book and of the graphic cues characterizing the poem enables us to suggest a possible function for the tripartite layout of the text and to clarify the meaning of the runic message at the end. Moreover, the relation between The Husband’s Message and the closest poems in the codex can shed new light on the meaning of the text revealing a possible, further allegorical level of interpretation. This perspective is also supported by textual analysis: various elements appear to be related to biblical symbols and seem to suggest that the sea journey described in The Husband’s Message could be construed allegorically as the process of conversion every Christian should undergo in order to gain eternal salvation.
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Geremia, Silvia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10446/837
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