Wanderer the Role of Comitatus Research Proposal

Total Length: 1245 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

Page 1 of 4

The wanderer, however, is utterly isolated by such suspicions.

It should be clear even from this brief utterance of the wanderer how essential the comitatus was to an individual's sense of identity and the practicalities of day-to-day living during the time in which the poem was written, but "The Wanderer" illustrates the importance of this relationship to its society on an even deeper. The comitatus was viewed in many ways as emblematic of the way life, history, and the world works, showing the fundamentally different perspective that such a way of life instills. The wanderer reflects on "how ghostly it will be when all the wealth of this world stands waste...Wine-halls totter, the lord lies bereft of joy, all the company has fallen, bold men beside the wall" (113). In the proven inevitability of separation from one's lord, the wanderer sees reflected the inevitability of history wiping away all of mankind's wealth and efforts. He is essentially musing on the ultimate loneliness of mankind and the individuals that comprise the species, noting that while his own specific circumstances may seem extreme, they are largely insignificant in the broader circumstances of humanity. This is drawn into a very extended metaphor about the relationship of all of mankind as vassals to the Lord in heaven, meaning that the relationship between man and God is seen as paralleled by the relationship between vassal and lord. The heavenly comitatus, however, is permanent, and it is this community that the wanderer sets his eye towards.

The comitatus was not important merely for day-to-day life in the Middle Ages, but was truly an all encompassing perspective and/or philosophy that colored every aspect of humanity. Even religion was seen in the same light of this "natural order." Though strange to our democratic sensibilities, it provided purpose and clarity to many for a thousand years.
Work Cited

Unknown. "The Wanderer." Greenblatt, Stephen and Abrams, M.H., eds. Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th Edition. Vol. I. Norton, 2006. 111-113.

Wanderer Outline

Thesis: Without an army and lord, the wanderer of the army is left without a place in society, making the comitatus central to the speaker of the poem.

I. Soldier/Community

A. Militancy/death major part of comitatus

B. Strength of community, bonds with others

C, Change in speaer due to lack of comitatus

II. Trust Issues

A. Cannot trust others

B. Bonds make outsiders

C. Comitatus provides some relief; none for wanderer

III. Comitatus as allegory

A. Microcosm of life/religion

B. End of world like end of comitatus

C. God as lord

Thesis: Without an army and lord, the wanderer of the army is left without a place in society, making the comitatus central to the speaker of the poem.

Overview: The essay will be constructed largely along the same lines as the narrative of the poem. After introducing the concept of comitatus and the feudal relationship between vassal and lord, the issue as it relates to the poem will be raised. Then, the specific manifestations of the comitatus in the poem will be addresses. This will begin with a paragraph about the wanderer's social status since the death of his lord and companions, and the change that this represents from his way of life before. Also, his relationship with a world full of strangers will be discussed. Just as the poem deals with the subject of eternity and God last, so will this essay, as it connects the idea of the comitatus to the overall worldview -- including the concept of religion -- that is the apparent perspective of the speaker......

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?