William Shakespeare 's The Dream Of The Rood, Beowulf, And The Canterbury Tales Essay

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All literature evolves throughout time due to the changes in culture and lifestyle of the society during a particular era. Authors are influenced by the beliefs of the nation, events, struggles, and politics of the time period. These influences can be clearly or subtly shown in the works of those authors of the age. The British culture is one of the many types that reflects such rich history and customs packed into its literature. The foundation of much British literature that integrated the convention of British civilization came during the Medieval Period. The Medieval stories of “The Dream of the Rood,” Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales contained some of the British culture concerning gender, religion, and the view of heroes. One aspect of British culture of the Medieval times was the stereotypes of gender and certain expectations in gender roles. For example, the poet of “The Dream of the Rood” used masculine and feminine language to show position of power (masculine) and powerlessness (feminine). Christ and the Cross shift back and forth between having power and not; both being weakened and defeated by an opposing force, but then rising up to gain honor and victory. The Cross was demoted to the status of a woman and shamed for being “[h]elpless and unable to act on his own volition [and] must perform according to the dictates of his captors” (Hawkins) when the enemy put Christ on the Cross. It reflects the belief that women or even feminine men are weak, cowardly, and
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