The place the soul is coming from is only described as the 'torments of hell'Click for footnote, 'the place where people live in disgrace', or 'the abyss of hell'Click for footnote. No more specific information is given.

Though, further statements about the visit of the soul to its body draw a vivid picture of the kind of existence the soul has to suffer. 'Just the same I must needs visit you at night, pained by sins, but quickly turn away from you again, at cockcrow, when the holy men sing lauds to the living God, so that I can

seek the home to which you destined me here, the place where people live in disgrace.'Click for footnote It is exiled from the bright glory of God and now part of the dark menagerie of demons and monsters, in short, of lost beings. 'The soul becomes "a guilty thing Upon a fearful summons", shunning light and fearing holy songs like Grendel,...'Click for footnote In Sermo 69, the devils even show the light to which the righteous will go to the lost soul, the light that it will never enterClick for footnote.

The visit seen from this perspective brings up the question whether it is not part of the punishment. The soul leaves hell and has to see what it longs for but has irretrievably lost, only to bring forth its accusations to a body that is 'dumb and deaf'Click for footnote. But the soul goes on with its futile task, and utter despair alternates with a kind of resigned, solemn sadness.

The case it presents is the following:
The body, evil from the beginning, since it was conceived through fleshly lust, or disposed towards flesh and sinful pleasuresClick for footnote, has been sent a soul from God. 'And look, it was the angelClick for footnote [down from the cross] who sent you your soul, by his own hand from the heaven above, it was the almighty Ruler in his majesty, and he paid the price for you with his holy blood...'Click for footnote The soul is something like the 'divine spark' granted to the body, which 'upholds'Click for footnote it.
But the body only thinks of its own desires and pleasures, not of what will come thereafter (i.e. lines 47a-48b), thus not heeding the warning of the first lines. In other words, the body damns the soul by acting against its will. 'You were puffed up with your feasting and full of wine, you raved in your power; and I was thirsty for God's body, the soul's drink'Click for footnote. An accusation which is almost paralleled in Sermo No. 69: 'You fed yourself on dainty food, I was hungry for our salvation. You drank strong-tasting wine, I was thirsty for the foundation of life...'Click for footnote As H.T. KeenanClick for footnote remarks these words 'seem to reflect Christ's words to the wicked at judgement': 'For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:' (Matt. 25:42)

The soul here takes the role of the accuser at judgement, not the part of a fellow sinner. All guilt lies with the body while the soul becomes the victim. A victim that had longed for escape while being imprisoned in the cage of the fleshClick for footnote, which longed so much, that it seemed as if 'it was going to be thirty thousand years till the day you died'Click for footnote. And with this point arises a major conflict with orthodox belief. Sheppey puts it thus: 'It is a heresy to believe that the soul is the prisoner of the body'Click for footnote. He goes on to cite St. Augustine's City of God, XIV, 3., which is titled 'That the Sin is Caused Not by the Flesh, But by the Soul, and that the Corruption Contracted from Sin is Not Sin But Sin's Punishment.' The false assumption of the innocent soul is no mere slip, but a fundamental error.

If we return once more to the misdeeds of the body, eating and drinking, another important connotation can be understoodClick for footnote: The types 'eating' and 'drinking' in combination also occur at Matt. 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-27 in the parallel of the days of Noah and the Parousia. Luke goes on in verses 28-30 to parallel the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah with the Parousia, again mentioning eating and drinking first. In all cases, the types are used to describe people who were not ready, but only concentrated on worldly things. The same is true for the body in the poem. It has indulged in worldly pleasures instead of being vigilant. Now it is alone. No people, no riches are left to come to its aid, but it has to face the dire consequences of its actions by itself.

When Christ will call to judgement, the body will have to stand up for its deeds. 'When you have to answer for us both, on that great day when God's wounds are revealed to men, the wounds that sinful people inflicted long ago in the world, then the Lord himself will want to hear of the actions of every man, the creator in heaven will want to hear from the voice of every single person's mouth about the repayment he has got for his wounds.'Click for footnote Christ/God, who is one, asks for the fulfilment of an agreement, that came into existence when he saved the souls of sinners by his sacrifice. He cleansed mankind from its sins, as each soul is afterwards purified through baptism, and offered heavenly reward for the faithful. Those who lived in the spirit of the Lord have repaid their debt. Sinners will have to pay at judgement: 'Then there will be no joint that grows in any of your limbs so small that you will not have to pay the proper price for each one separately,...'Click for footnote The idea of a 'punishment membratim' also occurs in the Sermo 69, though there it is placed at the moment of deathClick for footnotes.

It would have been better if the body had never been man, the soul cries, but rather an animalClick for footnote. This exclamation finds an explanation in the Visio PauliClick for footnote: only humans can sin - and therefore be punished for their sins.

The soul's case is presented, but it is in vain. It is too late. The body is condemned, and the soul will have to follow to 'whatever miseries you destined us to here before'Click for footnote. While the body lies still and decays, the soul returns to its fate - hell.