Speaking the Unspeakable: Appetite for Deconstruction in Exeter Book Riddle 12

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Downloads (Pure)


Although one of the notorious “obscene” riddles, Exeter Book Riddle 12 contains more than sexual titillation and denial. This article will address the text’s antithetical pairings. Observing these pairings highlights issues of race, class, gender, and morality, but the text confounds any straightforward process of separating self from other in any of these areas and presents a disturbing enmeshing of the two that contradicts the usual expectations of a well-ordered, moral Anglo-Saxon society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalEnglish Studies
Issue number5
Early online date16 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • old english poetry
  • exeter book riddles
  • Riddle 12
  • deconstruction

Cite this