Dream of the Rood

Dream of the Rood

A three-class literature supplement for high school students that takes an in-depth look at suffering and the Christian’s fundamental need for salvation.

 

WDream of the Roodritten in the early 7th or 8th century, Dream of the Rood was one of the first early Christian poems written in English. Recounting Christ’s passion and death from the perspective of the Cross, Dream of the Rood recognizes the power of redemptive suffering and the Christian’s fundamental need for salvation. With early medieval literary devices, the poem describes Christ’s passion as a battle waged against sin and death. In this three-class study, students peel back the layers of imagery, language, and symbolism to reveal a message about the sacredness of all human beings present in medieval literature.

Dream of the Rood is suitable for high school students and can provide support in a British Literature course, in a Medieval Literature course, in a religion course, or as a stand-alone work in a standard English class.

This supplement is currently available as a digital download. All presentation slides and student handouts are included with the instructor guide.

Collection_LENS

9th–12th grade

Life Lens supplements give students a deeper understanding of the threats facing human beings in our society and what each person can do to stand up for vulnerable people. High school students grapple with complex pro-life questions surrounding the dignity of the human person and learn how they can build a culture of life in their own communities.

 

Online access to appendices

Dream of the Rood Appendices

Click here to access the online appendices

Resources

Academic Discussions of Dream of the Rood

 The Ruthwell Cross

 Anglo-Saxon Poetry Glossary and Resources


General Medieval Studies Resources

  • Medieval Studies for the Nonspecialist by the On-Line Reference Book for Medieval Studies. Links to Medieval culture, history, and architecture
  • The Middle Ages by the Norton Anthology of English Literature. An overview of the changes and contexts of Medieval Literature

 

 

Reviews

It is because of the world we live in that the poem Dream of the Rood can be life-changing, or at least the beginning of a new way for students to accept the importance of the culture of life and then extending their knowledge and experience to others.

It is because of the world we live in that the poem Dream of the Rood can be life-changing, or at least the beginning of a new way for students to accept the importance of the culture of life and then extending their knowledge and experience to others.

Seeing Christ as a warrior-hero in His bloody battle against evil and death will surely be a startling view for the uninitiated; even more surprising might be the eventual understanding that just as the Dreamer, every Christian is called upon to bear Christ’s cross.  The battle against evil and death still goes on in every person on earth.

Thus the desperate need to fight along with Our Savior to protect the unborn, the old, the sick, and even the dying, and to follow Christ as the Dreamer learns to do  — with courage, loyalty, and virtuous living as an exemplar and defender of the culture of life.

—Marynola Halgard, PhD, English Literature

Dr. Halgard has 10 years experience teaching English Literature at the college level and also served as both administrator and teacher in Catholic education for 40 years. She was a pioneer in the homeschooling movement in Omaha, NE.