Loss And Acceptance In Poems: The Wanderer And Beowulf

1655 Words7 Pages
Kalee D. LaPointe
Mrs. Page
ENG 2322.701
24 October 2015
Loss and Acceptance
Poems like The Wanderer and Beowulf are considered some of the oldest and greatest poems that remain from the Anglo-Saxon time period. Some of the main cultural values of the Anglo-Saxons are found throughout the poems, including honor, the battle between a hero and a villain, fate, loss, and sacrifice. These relate to the common theme found in The Wanderer which is loss and how to deal with it. Just like the time of the Anglo-Saxons, during the Renaissance there were changes going on every day. Advancements in technology and writing introduced new ideas such as Ben Jonson’s On My First Son. He was the first to examine immortality in his work, which can be seen
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Here, he begins to imply a sort of connection between him and the death of his son, inferring that he feels responsible in a way. In lines 9 and 10, he says “Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, “Here doth lie / Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.”” (9-10). Jonson takes a more resolved tone here, telling his son to “Rest in peace” and know that he was his best work of art, most likely referring to the fact that he was the greatest thing that had ever happened to him (9-10). Jonson goes on to make a vow to his son; he vows to “never like too much” what he loves because one never knows when it might be taken from them (12). There is always a price to pay for being attached to someone too much, and in Jonson’s case he viewed his price as losing his…show more content…
Just as the wanderer lost his family, Jonson lost his son. Just as the wanderer accepted his fate in exile, Jonson accepted the fate of his son. Both poems deal with the idea of loss. The wanderer loses his home and his family while Jonson loses his son. Both come to accept this and learn to move on. Each poem was written during a certain time period, and the values and ideas of these times are seen clearly in the words of the poem. In The Wanderer there are examples of fate, loss, and sacrifice which are typical Anglo-Saxon beliefs. On My First Son includes a paradox of how one can love, but not to love too much because one never knows when he might lose the things he loves most. Having a paradox in a poem was a sign that you were a good poet during the Renaissance. Both poems relayed ideas that were not only relevant at the time they were written, but especially things people deal with on a day to day
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