Background information[ edit ] A part of The Dream of the Rood can be found on the 8th century Ruthwell Crosswhich is an 18 feet 5.
The Dream of the Rood c. Eighth Century Old English poem. The Dream of the Rood has been heralded by scholars as the finest expression of the Crucifixion theme in Old English poetry. Though it focuses on a motif common in Old English poetry, The Dream of the Rood is unique in describing it from the viewpoint of the Cross and within the context of a dream vision.
The poem thus becomes a philosophical one, and, as John V. Fleming has asserted, "the vehicle of an ascetical-theological doctrine which sketches in a brilliantly imaginative way the aspirations of the monastic cadre of Anglo-Saxon society. The poem opens with the vision of the Dreamer, which establishes the framework for the rest of the poem.
He sees the Cross being raised up, covered in gold and jewels, yet he notices a stain of blood on its side. The Rood begins to speak and recounts its experience as an instrument in the Crucifixion of Christ.
The Cross recalls how it was cut down in the forest and taken by its enemies to support criminals, then details its emotions as it realizes it is to be the tree on which Christ will be crucified.
The Rood and Christ become one in the portrayal of the Passion—they are both pierced with nails, mocked and tortured, and finally killed and buried; soon after, like Christ, the Cross is resurrected, then adorned with gold and silver. The Cross announces that because of its suffering and obedience, it will be honored above all other trees; it then commands the Dreamer to tell others what he has seen and heard.
The poet develops the theme of triumph achieved through suffering as both the Cross and Christ undergo a transformation from defeat to victory. While it has been generally assumed that, in using such language, the poet was trying to appeal to an audience acclimated to heroic verse, some critics have contended that he had inherent knowledge of the imagery of warfare and naturally used it in his poetry.
Another key approach to the poem has been through liturgical influence; although it is uncertain how well-acquainted the poet was with religious and ecclesiastical services, some commentators have pointed out that The Dream of the Rood draws on the language of Christianity.
Patch has maintained that, in composing the poem, its author "could hardly rid his mind of all the echoes of the hymns and responsive utterances and the liturgical offices which he was accustomed to hear at various times during the church year.
Authorship of the poem has been credited by many critics to Cynewulf c. The earliest evidence of the text of The Dream of the Rood is found on the Ruthwell Cross, a large freestanding stone cross, which is inscribed with passages from The Dream of the Rood rendered in the Northumbrian dialect.
Scholars have been unable to concur upon a date for the cross, proposing any time from the fifth to the twelfth century, although many have agreed that the eighth century—the Golden Age of Northumbria—is the most probable date.
The most complete text of The Dream of the Rood is found in the Vercelli Book, a manuscript of Old English prose and poetry unanimously assigned to the second half of the tenth century. Kennedy has called it "one of the most beautiful of Old English poems," and J.
Burrow has praised it as "one of the first and one of the most successful treatments in English of the theme of the Crucifixion. Most scholars support the conclusion, drawn by A.
Cook, that the last few lines were added by someone other than the original author when the poem was transcribed for the Vercelli Book; Bruce Dickins and Alan S. Ross have contended that "the latter half [of the poem] does not afford any metrical or linguistic evidence which necessitates the assumption of an early date, and in quality it seems to us definitely inferior.Dream of the Rood is suitable for high school students and can provide support in a British Literature course, in a Medieval Literature course, in a religion course, or as a .
The Dream of the Rood Listen! I will speak of the sweetest dream, what came to me in the middle of the night, when speech-bearers slept in their rest.
The version used here is Elaine Treharne's translation in the Old and Middle English Anthology..
1: Listen, I will tell the best of visions, what came to me in the middle of the night. The Dream of the Rood Listen! I will speak of the sweetest dream, what came to me in the middle of the night, when speech-bearers slept in their rest.
Sep 30, · "The Dream of the Rood" is a religious poem dating back to the tenth century. It was found in a manuscript in Northern Italy with a number of other Old English poems, although some of the passages are also found inscribed on a stone cross in Scotland which dates back to the eighth benjaminpohle.coms: 3.
The Old English lyric The Dream of the Rood is the earliest English dream poem to be found in written benjaminpohle.com Dream of the Rood is an explicitly Christian poem that .