Dream of the Rood and Miracles of the Virgin are highly symbolic texts. The most noticeable symbol in Dream of the Rood is the cross or the tree, which is also symbolic of God and his suffering. Rather than highlighting the pain and suffering of the Lord The Dream of the Rood is more focused on the rood’s journey and response to the crucifixion. The cross sets a sorrowful tone in the tale as it evoke pity and in the end praise from the reader.
Symbolism in Miracles of the Virgin is the white lily flowers that are found in the throat of the male figures. I’m not sure of the significance of the flower, but I know it has a connection to the Virgin Mary and her purity. The last male figure is healed by the Virgin’s breast milk. There is some significance with the throat and the Virgin but Im not exactly sure what that is. Like The Dream of the Rood this poem focuses a religious figure other than God and her role in his life.
The symbolism in both poems was intriguing. However, like most of our classmates, I found the symbolism and the personification of the cross very interesting. The cross has been a symbol for Christ’s suffering and death (as well as his subsequent resurrection) for a very long time. Personifying this piece of the story was kind of neat. The cross explains its own suffering, as well as the suffering of Jesus. In many ways, these stories are paralleled. We experience much of the same sorrow, woe, pity, hope, and joy that readers of the traditional version may feel. I personally found this personification and story-telling to be very effective.