A Fine Romance? Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wife's Lament, and The Husband's Message
The first chapter analyses three poems most often considered to be about heterosexual romantic love as a means of destabilizing at the outset assumptions often made about Old English texts. It argues that such interpretations often rest upon heterosexist and anachronistic preconceptions which are invisible because they lay implicit claim to be normative. It also reviews the arguments which claim male narrators for Wulf and Eadwacer and The Wife's Lament and the reception of these critical manoeuvres. It concludes with a call to examine more rigorously our cultural assumptions about the Anglo‐Saxon period and its literature, and by acknowledging the primacy of homosocial desire.
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