||Death is featured extensively in Anglo-Saxon literature, however, it has never been researched to its full extent in the elegiac poems The Wanderer, The Wife’s Lament and The Seafarer. This thesis aims to explore the theme of death in these poems and will further delve into the possibility whether the thought of suicide is present in them.
Elegiac poetry, featuring an implied deeper meaning of sorrow and grief towards the state of the soul and the earthly existence, has been a subject of research for many decades, especially for its deeper poetic meaning.
By looking at relevant interpretations of the Anglo-Saxon elegies that have been suggested by scholars, this thesis will try to answer the question whether death, which is a recurring motif in Anglo-Saxon literature, is also present in the elegies. In addition, it will be shown how the theme of death comes into play when linked to the poet’s discomfort of the soul, and whether the thought of suicide can also be discovered in these poems. It is to be expected that the conflict of the mind in these ‘sad poems’ can be linked to the thought of death, thus proving that suicide is a theme that occurs in these elegies as well.