Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Jennifer Lorden

Committee Members

Suzanne Hagedorn

Erin Webster

Lu Ann Homza


In my honors thesis, I uncover what I consider to be a poetic trope governing emotional expression in three of the Old English 'elegies.' Narrators in these poems engage the emotional values of the Old English "Heroic Tradition"-namely the value of keeping silent in the face of adversity-through abstracted and idealized figures like the 'eorl' (warrior/man). The invocation in these poems of the eorl and eorl-like figures such as a hlaford (lord) or geong mon (young man) functions as a poetic trope that signals the speakers engagement with the heroic emotional community represented by that figure. I name this figure the "heroic emoitonal avatar." Narrators engage this figure in order to either distance themselves from heroic emotional tenets, align with such tenets, or appropriate them for personal use.