The poem The Dream of the Rood has very many symbols which the poet uses to assimilate Anglo-Saxon values in a Christian context so as to make Christianity more appealing to members of this warrior culture. The main theme of the poem is religiosity and imagery has been used to show the Crucifixion of Christ as a battle. Imagery can be described as a visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work. These words are used to form mental images and enable the reader to conceptualize the poem. In this poem, the author used imagery so that the reader could picture the Crucifixion process, what took place, the people who were there, how Jesus looked like and how the Rood looked like as well.
Appeal to the Anglo Saxons; the poem is Anglo Saxon and it is believed to have been written in the period of the middle Ages. The death of Jesus Christ and his subsequent burial are recounted in a way which is very dissimilar to the original narrations as per the bible. So as to lay more emphasis on the important and historic victory of the crucifixion, Jesus is portrayed as a bold and belligerent warrior. He courageously challenges death and conquers sin. It is important to note that the portrayal is in tune with the high respect, esteem, bravery and valor, traits greatly cherished in the past medieval culture.
The author portrays Jesus in a distinct way than how hes presently viewed. The author strives and endeavors to Array honor plus bravery of a warrior by the means of Christs feats, exploits, accomplishments and achievements. The above traits; honor, braver and courage, were effectual and successful for the justification of writing this poem and this was to try to change the Anglo Saxons, who were heathens, to Christianity.
The author graces and furnishes Jesus by jubilance, exultation, gallantness and valiant bravado which epitomize and characterize great warriors present in the middle ages. The poet intended to show that Christ was just like an Anglo Saxon warrior. Through laying more emphasis on the Jesuss courage and fearlessness above his other passive traits, the author portrays an image of Jesus which fits seamlessly into heroic ideals found in the medieval period. The poet shows the transformation of the tree (wood) to a rood (cross) and this is similar to a persons conversion from darkness to enlighten (Christianity)
In the poem, its important to note that even after the death of Jesus, war imagery does not end. The warriors left me (the cross) standing, covered with blood. I was all wounded with arrows." Jesuss crucifiers are shown as warriors, instead of just ordinary executioners. The poet points out the bruises and wounds inflicted on the cross have metaphorically become arrows, and these were instruments of war which were used by the Anglo Saxons. At the same time, Jesus, having challenged death, has been buried and is akin a brave warrior who has participated in a battle and died like a hero.
The author ends the poem by describing vividly how heaven looks like, showing concluding images to end the recognition of the cross with Jesus and thus try to coax and endear the Anglo Saxons to Jesus Christ. The last line is, And every day I look forward to when the Lord's Cross that I beheld here on earth will fetch me from this short life and bring me then where joy is great, delight in the heavens where the Lord's folk are seated at the feast, where bliss is eternal.
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