Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures



First Advisor

Scott J Gwara


By interpreting each fate separately in both catalogues of The Fortunes of Men, I demonstrate how the poet refines the theme of self-restraint, despite the seemingly random vignettes that comprise it. Most criticism to date either relies on outside sources to explain the underlying theme or analyzes only one of the poem's two catalogues. Philological analysis, such as Robert DiNapoli undertakes in 'Close to the Edge: The Fortunes of Men and the limits of Wisdom Literature,' reveals vivid imagery and rich metaphorical meaning in the language of the poem itself. This paper explores of The Fortunes of Men as Anglo-Saxon literature that exhibits a theme of achieving excellence by means of controlling one's 'mod,' or willful passions, when necessary, which echoes native Germanic principles from heroic poetry, based upon Scott Gwara's explication of heroic self-restraint in Heroic Identity in the World of Beowulf.