Dream of the Rood - notes

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    22-Oct-2014

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<p>Dream of the Rood is an Anglo-Saxon lyric. The poem is divided into three parts. The first part is the introduction of the dreamer, who is going to narrate the dream which is in his MEMORY, and he is doing the recollection, and so the first part is called MEMORY The part Lo! I will tell of the best of dreams, is an address, the first subpart of MEMORY And then the description of the Cross follows (the second part) Knowledge, power, enlightenment, glory as attributes symbolized by the first description of holy cross The recipients of the poem may be pagans (fame/shame culture) and that is why the glory and majesty of the cross is emphasized (and motif of suffering and blood is underemphasized), in order to convert pagans by showing them the splendour of God. So the poem is written so as to fit into these fame/shame categories, as - for pagans - victory is more important. In Christian terms, it was the victory of Christ that was most important, since his crucifixion was a victory over sin. The Rood feels inferior towards the cross, but the message is that there is no need to feel inferior or be frightened. The sense of inferiority and the sense of feel are directed towards the cross, not towards Christ. Do not fear me, I am your way to Christ, the cross is the way to Christ. Emotions of the dreamer are thus important. Prosopopeia the personal story that cross speaks. The second part: UNDERSTANDING A true understanding can be achieved if we understand the past, the present and the future. Description of the crucifixion refers to the PAST, which is the first part. The Christian meaning is that the suffering is uniting. (Christ is nailed to the cross and both are pierced through) The pagan meaning: Christ is hastening to climb upon the cross, his courage and bravery, and readiness to sacrifice himself are important for pagan recipients. Christ is the king of all mankind, so he is depicted in the convention of HLAFORD (lord) and he has his THEGN (thanes)[cross] Christs thane, cross, knows that he has to stand fast by his lord and be brave. he dares not bow, for he knows he has to fight ere he will earn infamy. Everlasting fame and everlasting shame translate into Christian promises: fame Heaven, shame Hell. A wound is evidence of fighting.</p> <p>Crucifixion is depicted in a mode of battle. So you write Christ in the marketing story of crucifixion. Singing dirges and burial of Christ are reminiscent of Beowulfs burial. Then, the cross is covered with gold and adorned with jewels, which are much alike rewards given to brave warriors. And so to speak, cross is REWARDED. 78th line PRESENT the meaning of the cross Cross speaks about his meaning: he is the way to Heaven; so through suffering to Christ. The cross, by comparing himself to Mary, shows his submission and servitude. A submissiveness of a woman that accepts the rape and servitude; it does not imply anything negative in military code of honour. 95th line FUTURE exhortation Here we have Christs resurrection and ascension to heaven. If you follow the cross, you will be rewarded, but if you do not follow, you will be punished. It is why the vision of Doom and Apocalypse is called for. Moreover, the warning, the second coming. THIRD PART the dream ends WILL These three parts are typical for meditation, and thus this poem is meditative. The speaker is lonely, probably old, Harrowing of hell when Christ descends into hell and brings souls back The sense of fear is no longer. After understanding which alleviates the sense of fear there is no place for such emotions. We have to remember what pagan and Christian interpretation is about. What we need to have a perfect oral poem: 1. End-stopped line (one line is the meaning), a text which is fragmented into lines of meaning 2. Anglo-Saxon meter is accentual and alliterative 3. It is also a formulaic verse . It must be formulaic to be easily remembered, 4. The verse is divided by a caesura into two parts 5. Maximum four stresses in each line, minimum three accentual verse. 6. The rhythm is created by a fixed number of stressed syllables. 7. The rhythm is further strengthened by alliteration</p> <p>8. Kenning a compound phrase used in Old English, it uses a sort of compound phrase to describe sth in a metaphoric way. (sea the whale-road, lord ring-giver, a battlefield a gore-bed, word-hoard an ability to form rich sentences, body a bone-house)</p>

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