The Dream Of The Rood Essay, Research Paper
?Creating a Warrior?:
Analyzing The Dream of the Rood
The story of Christ’s crucifixion is one of the most important and well known stories of the Bible. It has been told through many different perspectives but none more unique then the one shared in ?The Dream of the Rood?. Told through the view of the cross ?The Dream of the Rood? is based on the story of the crucifixion. However when compared to original account, told in the Lords book, striking changes are apparent. The most striking of these changes are not what was altered, but what was left out. By omitting and altering certain passages from the original story the author of ?The Dream of the Rood? creates a more heroic and warrior like Christ figure.
?The Dream of the Rood?, begins with a dreamer recollecting a dream, where in the sacred cross, that Jesus was crucified, tells of the days events through his perspective. The Roods story begins with his recollection of being taken from his stump and hewed into a crucifix. He is then carried by multiple men to the cite of the crucifixions. This is the first apparent difference in the stories. The bearer of the cross is an important detail which is different not only in ?The Dream of the Rood?, but in the Bible itself. In most of the versions told in the Lords gospel the cross is carried by a man named Simon, however in the book John Jesus himself is forced to bear the weight. ?So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying is own cross…? (John 19). The difference between these versions although slight is critical, the reason deals with the image each paints. The Roods versions paints a picture of a enormous cross which must be carried by multiple persons, this gives the proceedings a grander overtone. Where as the versions told in the bible amplifies the wickedness of Christ?s persecutors, either by making a passer by or Christ himself carry the burden.
One of the most striking differences between the stories occurs when Christ approaches the Saviors tree. In the ?Dream? the cross depicts an image a ?young hero? who makes ?the earth surface tremble? and who ?strips himself? before ?embracing? the cross . In contrast the Bible tells of Jesus being patronized with ?a crown of thorns? then having his clothes ?divided up?. The ?Dream? also fails to mention the other criminals being crucified and the ?King of Jews? sign. These omissions help to create the image of the lone warrior scarifying himself for his Lord, the ultimate act of heroism in the era of ?The Dream of the Rood?.
The before mentioned omissions as well as others successfully change the tone of the crucifixion from one of suffering to one of heroism, and although the exact date of ?The Dream of the Rood? is not known it is probable that it was written at a time when paganism was still a dominate religion. This in mind I feel that the changes made by the author to the original story help amplify the idea of Christ the warrior, and in doing so make the Chrstian religion more accessible to Pagan cultures. Thus possibly achieving the Authors original goal.