The theology of The Dream of The Rood
The Dream of the Rood, the first dream-vision poem in English, is acclaimed as one of the finest renderings in Christian literature. The purpose of this paper is to examine the work within the context of the pagan concepts of the cult of the cross and tree veneration to prove that the work accurately reflects the theology and doctrne of the period and provides a theological understanding of the cross as a religious symbol. This thesis surveys the scholarship of the work and presents relevant historical information, reviews early Christian doctrine, provides a rhetorical analysis, and presents a personal translation of the poem. Major sources of data include criticisms of The Dream poem and historical information concerning Old Enclish poetry, Christian doctrine, and theology. Research proves that the poem combines pagan practices and early Christian symbols intricately woven together to provide an expanded theological understanding of the cross as a religious symbol of crucifixion and resurrection.