Anglo when Caedmon woke up he remembered all

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Last updated: March 22, 2019

Anglo Saxon literatureis a type of Old English poetry that divides in to 2 groups: Germanic and theChristian. As per first unit notes, there are not much of an evidence of AngloSaxon literature due to it being an oral poetry, which  consisted of songs and myths.  Mostly authors were unknown.First, I would like to discussThe Story of Caedmon. This poem is about a man who received histalent, “a Gift from God”.

At the beginning of a poem Caedmon was an elderlymale who was not able to sign any songs and was very embarrassed when peoplewere taking turns singing. However, in one of his dreams God has visited him inhis sleep and   when Caedmon woke up heremembered all the songs from the dream and was actually able to sign. Therefore,he went to monastery and informed his alderman about his gift. As author tellsin his story; “And his songs and poems were so beautiful to hear, that histeachers themselves wrote and learned at his mouth”.

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Clearly, Caedmon was “glorifiedand honored with a divine gift.”.  Teller highlights the importantrole of faith and religion in the lives of people. Caedmoneventually produced many poems which were all related to Religion, the creationOf God, Heaven and faith. Moving into the second beautifulpoem, The Dream of Rood in which the dreamer tells a story about a powerful andheroic event in a history – Christ’s crucifixion.

Atthe beginning of it, Teller dreams about a gorgeous, powerful “tree”that later on reveals as a cross, on which Christ died.  Furthermore, author describes the battle in which theChrist and the rood revealed as warriors. One ofthe heroic moments in this poem is how Rood was cut out of the forest: “Itwas so long ago – I remember it still —that I was felled from the forest’s edge,ripped up from my roots. Strong enemies seized me there, made me theirspectacle, and made me bear their criminals;” Teller also emphases Christ,as a warrior who climbed “The Rood” as if he was going into battle. By the end,the poem takes a turn and the Dreamer is woken up with hope and inspiration toseek the Rood again.

As we can see, both ofthe poems show a huge impact of the religion and heroism on people’s life backin Anglo Saxon period.  Religion andheroic values connect these two poems and provide a clear view on the values ofAnglo Saxon Period. In both stories authors describe events in very “brightcolors” and shows the importance and value of God and Faith.  The Story of Caedmon mostly talks aboutReligious believes and how big of an impact Faith had on society. Where, on theother hand, author of The Dream of Rods tells us about a dark battle and valueof Faith. These stories provide nowadays reader with an example of a drastic change between nowadaysrelations to God is different from what it was back then.


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