The Dream of The Rood

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  • The Dream of the Rood
    • The Vercelli Book, Cynewulf, 10th Century, 23 Elegies 6 poems
      • Possibly well known- Ruthwell Cross
    • 4 possible interactions- Christ and Cross, Christ and Dreamer, Cross and Dreamer, all 3
    • Words w/ multiple meanings:  Stefn- piece of wood and tree- 2X Beam- of light or wood Beacn- Beacon of light or symbol Byrgean- to bury/ to taste
      • Important word- HwHere (hard to write out)- means whether/yet/ however - constant rewriting/thinking
    • Short Poem. rhyme/ alliteration for creating mood- ominous
  • Depictions of Christ
    • 1st time the Cross sees him- 'Geseah ic pa frean mancynnes/ efstand elbe mycle paet he me wolde on gestigan./ pear ic pa ne dorste ofer dryhtnes word/ bugan odde berstan'.
      • 'There I saw mankind's Lord/  hasten with great zeal, that he wished to climb upon me. There, I did not dare break to pieces of bow down/ Against the Lord's words'
    • Heroism- 'Ongryede hine pa geong haeled, (paet was god aelmihtig),/ strang ond stidmod.'
      • 'The young Hero stripped himself then (that was God Almighty),/ Strong and resolute.'
    • Relationship with cross- 'Ahof ic riche cyning' (I lifted up the mighty king)
      • 'Bysmeredon hie unc butu aetgaedere.' (They mocked both of us, together.)
    • Aim of Christ- 'hwaedere eft dryhten aras/ mid his miclan mite mannum to helpe.'
      • However, The Lord arose again/ to help men with his greta powers.'
      • 'Si me dryhten freond' (May the Lord be a friend to me'
    • Near Ending- 'Se suns waes sigorfaest on pam sidfate,/ mihtig ond spedig' (The Son was triumphant on that expedition,/ mighty and successful'
  • RELIGION in Old English society
    • Pagan beliefs (British/ Germanic) come into science
      • Church appropriates Magic
    • You should be reading- Biblical translations, homilies, sermons, saints lives. e.g. Aelfric's Catholic Homilies,Livesof Saints,
      • Impact on literature- scribes, literacy, scribes, libraries
      • Also- rhetoric- levels of interpretation.Literal Typolgoical (Allegorical), Tropological (moral), Anagogical (spiritual)
        • For more on rhetoric and style see A. Orchard 'Oral Tradition; Wulfstan's sermons are relevant here
        • Example- Exodus of Iraelites- Literal= departure from slaver, typological= Christian's redemption through Christ, Typological= conversion of soul from sin to grace, anagogical- soul leaves earthly slavery- heavenly freedom
  • MEDIEVAL CRITICISM
    • Dante Alighieri 1265-1321, In Il Convivo Book Two Chapter 1 Talks about these 4 distinctions/ levels of interpretation.Also discusses it in The Letter to Can Grande
      • Literal-'this is the sense that does not go beyond the surface of the letter'
        • Allegorical- 'this is the one that is hidden beneath the cloak of these fables, and is a truth hidden beneath a beautiful fiction...'
          • Moral- 'the sense that teachers should intently seek to discover throughout the scriptures'
            • Anagogical - '...beyond the senses; and this occurs when a scripture is expounded in a spiritual sense which... signifies by means of the things signified a part of the supernal things of eternal glory.'
      • The L to CG-  ‘For the clarification of what I am going to say, then, it should be understood that there is not just a single sense in this work: it might rather be called polysemous, that is, having several senses.’ 
    • Accessing these levels-  ‘since explication is the building up of knowledge, and the explication of the literal sense is the foundation of the others, especially of the allegorical, it is impossible to arrive at the other senses without first arriving at it.’
      • ‘It would be impossible to because in everything that has an inside and an outside it is impossible to arrive at the inside without first arriving at the outside; consequently, since in what is written down the literal meaning is always the outside, it is impossible to arrive at the other senses, especially the allegorical, without first arriving at the literal.’
  • Presentation of Dreamer
    • 'sydpan reordberend reste wunedon' 'after speech bearers dwelt in bed'
    • 'forht ic waes for paere faegran gesyhde' 'I was afraid in the presence of that beautiful sight.'
    • Nu du miht gehyran, haeled min se leofa' 'Now you can hear, my beloved hero'
      • 'Nu ic pe hate, haeled min se leofa,/ paet du pas gesyhde secge mannum' 'Now I command you, my beloved warrior,/ that you tell this vision to men'
    • 'Gebaed ic me pa to pan beame blide mode,/ elne mucle, paer ic ana waes/ maete werede.' 'Then I prayed to the cross with friendly spirit, with great zeal, where I was alone with little company.'
    • 'Nah ic ricra feala/ freonda on foldan, ac hie ford heonon/ gewiton of worulde dreamum, sohton him wuldres cyning'
      • 'I do not have many/ powerful friends on earth, since they departed away hence/ from the joys of the world, they sought the King of Glory'
    • 'ond ic wene me/ daga gehwylce hwaenne me dryhtnes rod/ pe ic her on eordan are sceawode/ on pysson laenan life gefetige'
      • 'They dwell in glory, and each day/ I look forward to the time when the cross o the Lord that I previously saw here on earth, in this temporary life, will fetch me'
    • 'Si me dryhten freond' 'May the Lord be a friend to me'
  • Depiction of The Cross
    • TERMS: 'syllicre treow' 'a rather wondrous tree'
      • 'beama beorhtost' 'the brightest of beams'
        • 'sigebeam' 'victory beam'
          • 'fuse beacen' 'noble beacon'
    • 'geworhton him pear to waefersyne' 'they made me into a spectacle for themselves'
    • 'paer ic pa ne dorste ofer drhtnes word/ bugan odde berstan, pa ic bifian geseah/ eordan sceatas.'
      • 'There, I did not dare break to pieces or bow done/ against the Lord's words, when I saw the surface/ of the earth tremble.'
        • 'Ealle ic mihte/ feondas gefyllan, hwaedre ic faeste stod.' 'I was able to destroy all the enemies, nevertheless, I stood firmly.'
    • 'Ahof ic ricne cyning' 'I lifted up the mighty king'
      • 'opene inwidhlemmas' 'open malicious wounds' on the cross
        • 'Bysmeredon hie unc butu aetgaedere' 'They mocked both of us, together'
    • 'Sare ic waes mid sorgum gedrefed' 'Greviously I was afflicted with sorrow'
    • 'Hwaedere we daer greotende gode hwile' 'Neverthelesswe stood in a fixed position
      • few lines later- 'ond gyredon me golde one seolfre' 'and adorned me with gold and silver'
    • 'paet me weordiad wide ond side' 'fair and wide honour me' (declaring now it's the time)
      • 'ond ic haelan maeg' 'and I am able to heal' now in heaven ppl that were scared
      • Jesus- 'ofer holmwudu, heofonrices weard!' 'honoured me over all the trees in the forest!' -Like Mary
        • 'ac durh da rode sceal rice gesecan/ of eordwege aeghwylc sawl' - 'but through the cross, each soul must seek/ the kingdom from the earthly way'

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