The Dream of the Rood, Old English lyric, the earliest poem and one of the finest religious poems in the , once, but no longer, attributed to or. Archived from on 4 March 2016. These ideas are no longer accepted by scholars. He stripped himself then, young hero - that was God almighty - 40 strong and resolute; he ascended on the high gallows, brave in the sight of many, when he wanted to ransom mankind. The rood's dictation, steeped with references to both Pagan and Christian culture, implies the subservient relationship he shared with Christ as that of a lord and thane. A Guide to Old English. It is quite troubling because of the fact that the narrator aims to convey the message of trying to show its perspective of the crucifixion by means of telling that it experienced the pains and glory too.
Once, because of the law, I was a spectral terror to all slaves; but now the whole earth joyfully worships and adorns me. There is an excerpt on the cross that was written in runes along with scenes from the Gospels, lives of saints, images of Jesus healing the blind, the , and the story of Egypt, as well as Latin antiphons and decorative scroll-work. These lines are significant to the text as a whole because they allow the dreamer to summarize the sermon of salvation that the rood has preached. The Dream of the Rood is widely regarded as one of the finest short religious poems in the Old English period. Within the context of the poem, the clash between the newly emerging society of ecclesiastical ethics and Pagan tradition of heroism and warfare is evident.
Whoever enjoys my fruit will immediately be well, for I was given the power to bring health to the unhealthy. There will be no need to be afraid there at that moment for those who already bear in their breast the best of signs, yet every soul ought to seek through the Rood the holy realm from the ways of earth— those who intend to dwell with their Sovereign. Argued as one of the oldest pieces of Old English Literature, The Dream of the Rood effectively embodies the blended culture, moral code, and religious values of its unknown author. They carved it from the brightest stone, setting therein the Wielder of Victories. Someone buried us in a deep pit. The Dream of the Rood, Modern English Version The version used here is Elaine Treharne's translation in the. Firstly, he told that in his dream, he saw wondrous, beautiful rood-trees which lifted into the air, accessorized with gems and covered by gold.
Thus, the crucifixion of Christ is a victory, because Christ could have fought His enemies, but chose to die. The poem itself is divided up into three separate sections: the first part ll. This was all that was known of the work to scholars until the complete poem was discovered, in 1822, in the 10th-century Vercelli Book in northern Italy. After got the vision, the dreamer prayed for the cross and hoped that he could find the tree and honor it well. It is truly remarkable how a poem can so flawlessly embody two distinct cultures, or rather the transition point between them. It begins with the enemy coming to cut the tree down and carrying it away.
They took up there Almighty God, lifting up him up from that ponderous torment. The cross refused to bow down when the tree saw the earth tremble. The Crucifixion story is told from the perspective of the Cross. Allen Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976 , pp. In section three, the author gives his reflections about this vision. Others have read the poem's blend of Christian themes with the heroic conventions as an Anglo-Saxon embrace and re-imagining, rather than conquest, of Christianity. In section three, the author gives his reflections about this vision.
They pierced me with dark nails; on me are the wounds visible, the open wounds of malice; I did not dare to injure any of them. In this dream or vision he is speaking to the Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The vision ends, and the man is left with his thoughts. The Cross then charges the visionary to share all that he has seen with others. It is honoured above all trees just as Jesus is honoured above all men. Clearly, the tree is not human; therefore, there is no way that it could feel the pain that Christ endured during his crucifixion. The Dream of the Rood offers readers a glimpse into the distant past of England; a time where the Anglo-Saxon hierarchy and Pagan rituals fell into steady decline and a newer, more centralized faith captivated the eyes of the people.
After that, he saw men brought Jesus on to the cross. Two of Cynewulf's signed poems are found in the Vercelli Book, the manuscript that contains The Dream of the Rood, among them , which is about supposed discovery of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Enemies enough fastened me there. The Dream of the Rood is one of the Christian poems that written by Cynewulf. What I wish to say of the best of dreams, what came to me in the middle of the night after the speech-bearers lie biding their rest! This contradictory concept of Christ as a self-sacrificing victim, yet fearless warrior king, coupled with the conflicting references to Pagan and Christian culture demonstrate the blended perspective of the poem's author. Within the single culture of the Anglo-Saxons is the conflicting Germanic heroic tradition and the Christian doctrine of forgiveness and self-sacrifice, the influences of which are readily seen in the poetry of the period.
The poem was originally known only in fragmentary form from some 8th-century runic inscriptions on the , now standing in the parish church of Ruthwell, now Dumfries District, Region, Scot. The personification of the rood is almost a reflection of the dreamer and what he wants. The approximate eighth-century date of the Ruthwell Cross indicates the earliest likely date and Northern circulation of some version of The Dream of the Rood. Surely it was no longer the gallows of vile crime in that place—yet there they kept close watch, holy spirits for all humanity across the earth, and every part of this widely famous creation. Yet they will fear him then, and few will think what they should begin to say unto Christ. Eighteen verses of The Dream of the Rood were carved into the cross in runic lettering. I saw this tree of glory, well-worthied in its dressing, shining in delights, geared with gold.
The relationship is subtlety suggested when the dreamer witnesses the rood began to bleed on the right side as Christ had, implying the inseparable connection between lord and thane. Then, just as with Christ, the Cross is resurrected, and adorned with gold and silver. The presence of the cross in this poem and its description in the poem triggers elements of paganism and Christianity at the same time. Gemstones prominent and proud at the corners of the earth— five more as well blazoned across the span of its shoulders. The Lord and the Cross become one, and they stand together as victors, refusing to fall, taking on insurmountable pain for the sake of mankind.