Elements Of Paganism In The Dream Of The Rood

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The early Middle-Age poem, “The Dream of the Rood”, attempts to reconcile the vast differences between Christian and Pagan beliefs in order to attract Germanic Pagans to the Christian faith. In other words, the poem supports elegiac beliefs with heroic values to make the Christian faith more appealing to those who still hold on to their ancestral Pagan beliefs. The unknown poet draws on heroic elements of wealth, fame, and honor to enhance the Christian story of the crucifixion. Other Pagan elements, such as a talking tree, are incorporated into the story of the crucifixion to further blend the two beliefs. The poem also underlines a common feature of both Pagan and Christian beliefs which is the unbridled dedication and obedience to one’s lord. The poet had to compromise on some elegiac values because only by blending various elements of Pagan and Christian beliefs could there be hope that the Germanic Pagans would accept Jesus as their type of leader. The elegiac modes of Christianity promote many values that heavily conflict with the values of Germanic Pagans in …show more content…
The Rood has everything a Germanic Pagan of the early Middle-Ages would look for in a hero including strength, loyalty, glory, and treasure. The Rood even surpasses the classic hero in that it is rewarded a god-like status, in that it can heal and is given a similar status as the Virgin Mary (87-95). Of course, the poet had to compromise on values from both sides and ultimately made an interesting case for the Christian deity, Jesus, as being so worthy a leader that the great strong Rood would follow him to death. In reality, at the time, the mostly unconverted rural peoples were more concerned with surviving the earthly realm, behind swords and shields, than hoping for a heaven in the

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