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Unformatted text preview: English 201 English Literary Tradition The Dream of the Rood: is one of many religious poems that pop up during the Old English period. Its author and date of composition is unknown. Some passages from the Rood (or Crosss) speech were carved on the famous Ruthwell Cross, preserved near Dumfries in Southern Scotland. The experience of the Roodits humiliation at the hands of those who changed it from tree to instrument of punishment for criminals (the rood bore Christ at his crucifixion), and its pride as the restored tree of glory (through association with Christ)has suggestive parallels to the exile figures that show up in many Old English poems, including The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and The Wifes Lament. However, glory replaces the Roods torment. The head-notes say: Christ and the Cross both act, paradoxically, in keeping with, and diametrically opposed to, a code of heroic action: Christ is heroic and passive, while the Cross is loyal to its lord, yet must participate in his death. Riddles-Nobody really wrote anything down until Romans came over to talk about Christ. Writing was a new technology.-What does it mean to read in a formerly only oral society?-linguistics- the more a language is written down, the simpler it becomes.-Christians come from med. And bring Latin with them people translate Latin texts- old English old English raedan (to counsel based on what words say to you) Latin legere (to gather, collect, harvest- reading is magical: your eye is harvesting information).-reading aloud was the norm; reading silently was from some other culture and it came about so as to not invite dialogue with other people in the room. The Bow-Is a riddle a poem? A genre?-like a poem, it accords a voice (the speaker is the bow, which speaks in 1 st person and it is addressing you, the reader)-originally it did not have a title.-Why is there such an obvious hint in the first sentence?-not everyone listening to the riddle is literate- this speaker appeals to a literate audience.-it's cool in a new technology- you can spell letters backwards and fool everybody.-bow is fascinated with its own paradoxes. A Bookworm-idea of getting words someone spoke on a speaking page.-what is reading? A strange kind of eating- words of one man's mouth get in another man's mouth. -what are words?-worms + writing- someone seeing squiggles on pages for the 1 st time would compare it to the marks worms leave on soil.-eyes across the page- must make your eye a worm. A Writing Hand-perhaps an instructional riddle to remind people of how to hold a pen.-reminiscent of bird tracks on a path of clay.-he dived beneath the wave- dipped pen in the ink OR make your fingers like a wave, then hold the bird's feathers.-drudgery it was for the fellow who taught all four of them their ways -drudgery- either scribe or hand-four of them- fingers-How does writing get out of your head and onto a page/how did you teach your hand to know what I...
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