Document Type


Date of Award



Deor, Ruin (Anglo-Saxon Poem), Wanderer (Anglo-Saxon poem), English poetry, Old English, History and criticism

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

First Advisor

Zack Bowen

Second Advisor

Bernard F. Huppe

Third Advisor

Paul E. Szarmach




With Bartlett and Huppé on which to rely, I will deal with three Old English poems: Deor, The Ruin, and The Wanderer. It is my belief that if we subject these poems to the kinds of analysis suggested by Bartlett and Huppé, we will be able to see that rhetoric is a determining factor in theme and structure. The elusive nature of the poems, their seeming illogic at times, may well be explained by the fact that the audience did indeed know the theme, the message, of the poem and that the delight of the poem was in proportion to the intricacy of the route which led them to this theme. Two questions arise from this which need explanation at the outset: 1. why discuss the elegies and, 2. why the elegies chosen?