Dream of the Rood- A Christian Poem of old English literature.Author Unknown

Essay by CollisionHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2009

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The Christian influence upon Anglo-Saxon heroism is clearly seen in “The Dream of the Rood.” The recurring imagery and use of gold, jewels, and blood reflect Anglo-Saxon heroism along with Christian views. In the underlying first section of “The Dream of the Rood” the dreamer envisions the cross being lifted up in triumph, covered in gold and jewels. Section two is comprised of the cross communicating to the dreamer about the crucifixion of Christ. In section three the cross instructs the dreamer to leave and spread the message of Christ's suffering and salvation. Like other Anglo-Saxon poems, this poem manifests life’s transient nature.

Anglo-Saxon heroism involves a great deal of reward for triumph, such as gold and jewels. Yet, Christian views are still seen through the rood, or the cross in which Christ dies on. The cross is continuously mentioned as brilliant and wrapped in light; signifying the holiness of the cross.

The dreamer provides the reader with a lucid image when he states, “Covered with gold, the tree of the Lord gloriously wrapped in gleaming stones. And through the gold I saw the stains of its ancient agony when blood spilled out on its right-hand side” (17-21). He provides a vivid illustration of his dream and the cross in all its glory.

Although the sections of this poem may not be evident, the end result happens to be clearer because of it. The dreamer sees the glorious tree of the Saviour and is aghast when he sees it covered in blood, gold and jewels. He describes, “I was troubled and afraid of the shining sight. Then its garments changed, and its color for a moment it was moist with blood, dripping and stained; then it shone like silver” (21-24). The dreamer explains the overwhelming...