The speaker in "The Husband's Message" carries a message that he hopes will have a big impact on the lady's state of mind. He wants to make her feel certain that the lord still loves her, and wants to convince her to make difficult sea-journey to reunite with the lord. Although the speaker is pretty confident that he'll be successful, he's certainly trying every trick in the book to get the lady to reunite with the lord. The future he offers the lady is a bright one, full of wealth, security, and power as the wife of a prosperous lord. The lord's dearest hope is to have his lady come to join him in distributing wealth to their subjects, suggesting that he views her as much a political partner as a romantic one. At the same time, though, the messenger clearly sees the lady as yet another possession for his lord's treasure-trove, albeit a very rare and beautiful one. So her future with the lord would probably be one of subjection as well as power.
Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
- What effect is the messenger hoping to have upon the lady? How optimistic is he about this outcome? How do you know?
- What is the lord most looking forward to once he and his lady are reunited? What does this dream indicate about what he's looking for in their relationship?
- What kind of future does the lord offer his lady? Is it a good one? Why or why not?
Chew on This
The speaker is very optimistic that his message will have the desired effect upon the lady, as he says in lines 11-16.
Despite the optimism the speaker expresses about the effect his message will have upon the lady, the lengths he goes to in order to persuade her indicate that he thinks this outcome is far from certain.
The future the lord offers his lady is one of wealth, power, and security as a political partner at his side.
The future the lord offers his lady is as one more possession in his treasure-trove.