Jesus the Warrior in The Dream of the Rood Essay

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The image of Jesus nailed to a wooden cross by the palms of his hands and with a crown of thorns wrapped around his head is one that has transcended all time barriers. It has inclusive been replicated into figure form that is utilized in various ways but whose primary function is to serve as a constant reminder of the physical suffering endured by Jesus. In The Dream of the Rood however, the perception of Jesus Christ as not only the son of God and savior of mankind but also as a human with the capacity to feel pain, is subverted when through the perspective of a personified cross he is conveyed as a warrior in the midst of combat. The portrayal of Jesus in this way immediately evokes the image of an ideal stereotypical hero who is strong, …show more content…
The characteristics of a hero are simultaneously interwoven throughout the text in form of adjectives which include “strong,” “stouthearted,” and “bold.” When employed, these words trigger the formation of a mental visual that encompasses the components of a romanticized warrior or what some perceive to be a hero’s prime attributes. Additionally, specifically describing the gallows as “high” dramatizes the martyrdom enhancing in this way the image of a person who approached the site of his inevitable death dauntlessly. The capitalization of terms including “Hero” and the explicitly stated “Warrior” suggests that these are not mere words that are applied only to describe an honorable person but are also additional titles that can be used to refer to Jesus. Just as the “Father” the “Son” and “Holy Spirit” are thought to be titles pertaining to God, “Hero” and “Warrior” are titles that in this case are given to Jesus. Capitalizing both terms is also used to draw a parallel between them which suggests that the two are complementary to each other and as a result can be used interchangeably. Lastly, the capitalization of these two terms in particular is implicative of how much value placed on warriors who in turn were perceived as heroic during the Middle Ages which is when the poem is thought to have been composed.
The severity of the humiliation that was precedent to the death of Jesus is strategically diminished when it is recounted in order to
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