Death and the Landscape of The Fortunes of Men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The grisly fates catalogued in the first half of the Old English gnomic poem The Fortunes of Men have been fruitfully read within a broader Germanic literary context. This article notes that these grim deaths also share a common setting in the natural landscape. While this pattern initially appears to underscore the familiar bleakness of the natural world in Anglo-Saxon literature, this article argues that the more significant danger in each of these fates is the expulsion from human society which stands at its root. The Fortunes of Men uses the illusion of a dangerous natural world to link together deaths for which other men are ultimately to blame.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Fate
  • Gnomic poetry
  • Landscape
  • Old English poetry
  • The Fortunes of Men


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