How does the relationship between the natural world and humanity in The
Dream of the Rood relate to that envisioned in The Wanderer?
Your essay should consist of an original, complete, well-presented and well supported argument. Focus
your thesis according to what you find after studying the texts. You will not be able to say everything
related to the topic in so few words, so narrow your focus. Isolate the most interesting aspect of what you
discover and make a strong case for it. Ensure that your argument lets you consider not just content but
form. That is, you must consider how the texts structure the representation of the content. Remember
that, in every case, these texts are in translation, so the exact choices of words and their order (diction
and syntax) are not those of the originals; shape your claims accordingly.
Cite specific examples from the texts to support your arguments. Quote sparingly, as necessary;
however, most of the essay should consist of your own analysis of textual detail, rather than the words of
either secondary or primary sources.
Relationship between Natural World and Humanity
Poems are one of the ways that poets get to pass across their messages to the members of
the public. Poems express feelings, opinions and help people to understand their environment.
Some of the poems even though their authors are not traceable, they remain relevant because of
their strong messages they pass across on different aspects that pertains life. The author
investigates on how relationship between the natural world and humanity relates between these
two poems; Dream of Rood and the Wanderer.
In the Dream of Rood, the narrator is having a dream and his first encounter with the
cross, the dreamer sees the cross with gem Cook. The cross even though is stained with blood; it
is celebrated together with Jesus Christ who was crucified on it. The cross has become victor,
hence, a source of celebration today for the fact that it helped or contributed in securing eternal
life for the sinners
On the other hand, The wanderer is also based on religious aspects. Even though, life has
many challenges, faith in God seems to be essential. The journey of salvation requires courage to
embrace Christian values to be able to seek the meaning beyond transitionary and temporary
meaning of earthly values. There is therefore a close relationship between the natural world and
humanity in these two poems. What is envisioned in the wonderer is clearly manifested in the
Dream of the rood poem. Nature or natural world has its own forces that people cannot control.
Humanity is on the other hand based on the attributes or behaviors expected of human beings to
manifest. Human beings in their nature, are required to be loving, social animal and expected to
have feelings to one another. This therefore makes human being to be respectful, have mercy,
companion and as well face challenges in life that requires them to persevere and to improvise
measures of overcoming them.
In the Dream of Road, human beings are expected to suffer and to struggle for them to
achieve their goals. They need to suffer to achieve victory. Crucifixion in the poem is illustrated
by the suffering of both Christ and cross. From these suffering they managed to undergo a
transformation from defeat to victor. The cross and Christ had to persevere the piercing but at the
end they managed to succeed. Humanity has no mercies as the tree is cut from the forest and it is
as well subjected to torture, mocking and nails. Christ as well undergoes this torture in hand of
the human beings.
This is an indication of lost humanity among the human race. However, all these
tribulation and anguish results into positivity. The resurrection of the cross and Christ is
something that is beyond human comprehension. The cross resurrects and is covered in gold and
silver overcoming nature. The tree is now honored amidst all other trees. Hope in eternal life is
renewed and the dreamer is renewed and seek to find this glorious Rood. Therefore, this poem
shows that indeed, human beings may lack humanity in them through their actions, but they are
under certain powerful forces that they cannot be in a position to understand. Seeking the
presence of God is the only source of people happiness
These themes in the dream of Rood are as well exemplified in the Wonderer. The
wonderer exemplifies various themes of nature of humanity and the quest and hope, for God.
Wonderer or this lone dweller even though is condemned to travel on his own in the ice-cold sea,
he still hopes for the God mercy. He says that he is an ‘earth-stepper’.
This lone dweller recounts sufferings that he faced such as slaughter of his relatives, and
this, made him not to talk to anyone. Human kind have lost their humanity as they subject
others to sufferings just as is in the case of the Dream of the Rood where a tree is cut and is
crucified together with Christ.
People must be able to look into their minds and thoughts before engaging in anything
they do. Even with these sufferings, people are required to remain optimistic. The killing of his
lord even though hurting, it did not have to make him obsolete, but he needs to look for someone
to hang on and to give him treasures.
Life is something that keeps on changing. People go through different life experiences
that make them to undergo mixed feelings and experience different emotions (Cook 127).
Sometimes, one is exalted and happy but sometimes this experience can turn into despair. The
earth stepper cannot believe how the people and the situations have changed into despair.
Procrastination and flashbacks hurts him more when he remembers the good, life and encounters
in the past with his boss.
Even with these challenges, wisdom is important and which manifests itself in the old
age. As the earth, stepper alludes. A wise man is expected to have certain attributes such as
emotionally stable, patient, and always be careful on whatever words they utter. Worrier should
not be foolish, weak and cowardly. Therefore, they must respond appropriately when making
certain decisions. These are the attributes that the poet exemplifies and attributes to humanity.
Human beings have changing feelings and moods depending on their situations and age.
Natural world is also exemplified in the poem as the poet attributes all powers and glory
to the supernatural being who is God. The warriors, the wise men, and every kind of humanity
are under the authority of God. God has the power to destroy everything on earth. Before God,
everything is worthless. All things even making even with their pleasures, and sufferings they
will all pass away into nothing less as though they have never happened or existed.
Therefore, these two poems resonate and are similar in many ways. They all portray
humanity in similar ways. In the Dream of the Rood, man is viewed as cruel, tortured, having no
mercies. Similarly, in the wonderer, it is still man that kills and slaughters others without mercy.
However, in all situations, the powers of God -natural world superseded. The resurrections of
both the cross and Christ is explained by the natural world and is beyond human control. The
actions and the behaviors of people depend on the situations and the experiences. These
behaviors and actions also keep on changing but it is only by more having faith that people will
be able to overcome.
The two poems also make it clear that, it is only through seeking the favor and comfort
from God that humanity stability rest. After going through all sorts of suffering and torture, there
is always a victor at the end. It however will require perseverance and endurance for people to
emerge as victors. The Dream of Rood poem depicts how the cross and Christ emerged victor
regardless of subjected to gem and dirty. They came out as gold and silver that all people
admired and sought. Similarly, in the Wonderer, this man after being subjected to different life
situations, he acknowledges the superiority and power of the Almighty who is to be atoned and
in Him sort refugee in.
Wonderers assert clearly that earthly glory degenerates, as salvation through faith in God
will always stand. In God,” in whom all stability dwells” meaning that heavenly values
supersedes earthly value (Klinck 27). Human beings even though get attached to the earthly
things and situations, they are as well required to be subjected and be guided by the heavenly
In conclusion, the two poems, the Dream of the Rood and the Wonderer, exemplify on
the themes of natural world and humanity in similar ways. Humanity is portrayed to change and
to transform depending on various situations. Human beings have emotions, feelings and moods
that keep on changing. Sometimes they are happy, sometimes in anguish, selfish and merciless
obedience among other. Humans crucified Christ on the cross in the Dream of the hood and are
still humanity that showed no companion and mercy upon fellow colleagues through their
killings. However, above all this tribulation, the source of hope and inspiration is to trust in the
Almighty. Believing in supernatural being, is a source of comfort and a source of refugee.
Therefore, natural world in the poem is portrayed as the victor, source of hope and beyond the
imaginations of human kind. While humanity in these two poems is based on the feelings,
emotions and situations that people find themselves in. The world is not trusted and more
precedence seems to be on spirituality and religious than humanity.
Cook, Albert. The Dream of the Rood: An Old English Poem Attributed to Cynewulf. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, (2007). Print.
Klinck, Anne. The Old English Elegies: A Critical Edition and Genre Study (2001). Print.