"The Dream of the Rood" Analytical Essay by CHRISSYMAC

"The Dream of the Rood"
A discussion of the theme of Redemption in the ancient work "The Dream of the Rood".
# 49012 | 2,238 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2004 | GB
Published on Feb 22, 2004 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Religion and Theology (General)

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This paper argues that the author of the ancient text "The Dream of the Rood"'s presentation of the mystery of the Redemption is dependent on his presentation of the symbol of the cross, especially in terms of vocabulary and grammar. It reflects on the idea that the poem is prefigured by the poet's obedience to contemporary theological doctrine i.e. the need to present simultaneously Christ's triumph and suffering. It concludes with the idea that Rood is not constricted to the realms of biblical paraphrase 'in that it is without analogue', meaning that the poem ultimately is forced to develop its own unique (and fully poetic) statement on the mystery of the Redemption.

From the Paper:

"The Rood poet makes his statement on the "Mystery of the Redemption" in a way that treads the tightrope between Christ's divinity and humanity. The mystery of the Redemption is, thus, a question of Christ's crucifixion; it is dependent on whether one considers the crucifixion to be an example of triumph, or suffering. Anglo-Saxon doctrine recognized a concomitance between divinity and triumph, and humanity and suffering , in terms of Redemption doctrine. The task of instilling such a paradox in a literary figure (in the case of Christ) is, to say the least, hazardous: it requires that Christ is simultaneously human and suffering, and divine and triumphal. The ingenuity of Rood is that the poem uses the symbol of the cross to represent Christ's humanity."

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