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Medieval England

In The Dream of the Rood, there are profound differences in how the crucifixion is told and portrayed to the audience. What do you see as the differences?

How are these differences influenced by the rising towns and cities and the fact that laymen did not read Latin or have direct access to religious tracts and the bible? Please use references about these pieces to support your readings.

Both The York Play of the Crucifixion and The Second Shepherd's Play were live events performed on the streets of towns. Do some research and look at the Shambles in York, which survives to today as the oldest medieval street in Britain.

Find out what stores and businesses where located in the Shambles during medieval times.

What surprises you about The Shambles? How does it expand your understanding of Medieval England?

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For the student,
Thank you for coming by Brainmass.Com for your homework assistance. This assignment reads to me like a journal assignment from your professor. Please go through the following passages of background information relative to the play, and you will be able to understand how to answer each of the questions asked. From the middle section of the assignment, your professor asked, "Both The York Play of the Crucifixion and The Second Shepherd's Play were live events performed on the streets of towns. Do some research and look at the Shambles in York, which survives to today as the oldest medieval street in Britain,"; that is what I'll have done for you by the end of the responses to this posting you submitted through Brainmass.Com. Since Brainmass.Com warns OTAs NOT to do any homework for anyone coming through our website, we, OTAs perform necessary research to save on students' time and provide step-by-step guidelines so that you'll be able to complete the assignment in less the time than you would have without coming to Brainmass.Com. I'm sure you'll need all the following information to answer the following questions in this journal-type of an assignment,

1. The Dream of the Rood, there are profound differences in how the crucifixion is told and portrayed to the audience. What do you see as the differences?

2. "How are these differences influenced by the rising towns and cities and the fact that laymen did not read latin or have direct access to religious tracts and the bible? Please use references about these pieces to support your readings."

3. "Find out what stores and businesses where located in the Shambles during medieval times."

4. "What surprises you about The Shambles? How does it expand your understanding of Medieval England?"
~As for how to answer this question, you can start writing this way, "From reading The Shambles, what surprised me most was......"

OTA's act of research begins with the following sources provided below~
The Dream of the Rood

Manuscript: The Vercelli Book (chapter library of the cathedral at Vercelli, Codex CXVII). Editions: Krapp, George Philip, ed. The Vercelli Book. ASPR 2. New York: Columbia UP, 1932; Dickens, Bruce, and Alan S. C. Ross, eds. The Dream of the Rood. Methuen's Old English Library. New York: Appleton, 1966; Swanton, Michael, ed. The Dream of the Rood. Manchester Old and Middle English Texts. New York: Barnes (for Manchester UP), 1970. Pope, John C., ed. Seven Old English Poems. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1981. It will be obvious that I have relied heavily on Swanton's edition in my notes (click on the hyperlinked superscripts in the text to go to the notes). A general observation should be made here: this poem is remarkable for its extensive use of hypermetric lines, "used contrapuntally to accommodate significantly more complex thematic material" (Swanton 61).

Hyperlinks to annotations are added in-line in the text, in bold brackets. See also my notes on The Dream of the Rood.

Text
Listen! The choicest of visions I wish to tell,
which came as a dream in middle-night,
after voice-bearers lay at rest.
It seemed that I saw a most wondrous tree
born aloft, wound round by light,5
brightest of beams. All was that beacon
sprinkled with gold. Gems stood
fair at earth's corners; there likewise five
shone on the shoulder-span [ 1 ]. All there beheld the Angel of God [ 2 ],
fair through predestiny [ 3 ]. Indeed, that was no wicked one's gallows,10
but holy souls beheld it there,
men over earth, and all this great creation.
Wondrous that victory-beam--and I stained with sins,
with wounds of disgrace. I saw glory's tree
honored with trappings, shining with joys,15
decked with gold; gems had
wrapped that forest tree worthily round.
Yet through that gold I clearly perceived
old strife of wretches [ 4 ], when first it began
to bleed on its right side. With sorrows most troubled,20
I feared that fair sight. I saw that doom-beacon [ 5 ]
turn trappings and hews: sometimes with water wet,
drenched with blood's going; sometimes with jewels decked.
But lying there long while, I,
troubled, beheld the Healer's tree,25
until I heard its fair voice.
Then best wood spoke these words:
"It was long since--I yet remember it--
that I was hewn at holt's end,
moved from my stem. Strong fiends seized me there,30
worked me for spectacle; cursèd ones lifted me [ 6 ].
On shoulders men bore me there, then fixed me on hill;
fiends enough fastened me. Then saw I mankind's Lord
come with great courage when he would mount on me.
Then dared I not against the Lord's word35
bend or break, when I saw earth's
fields shake. All fiends
I could have felled, but I stood fast.
The young hero stripped himself--he, God Almighty--
strong and stout-minded. He mounted high gallows,40
bold before many, when he would loose mankind.
I shook when that Man clasped me. I dared, still, not bow to earth,
fall to earth's fields, but had to stand fast.
Rood was I reared. I lifted a mighty King,
Lord of the heavens, dared not to bend.45
With dark nails they drove me through: on me those sores are seen,
open malice-wounds. I dared not scathe anyone.
They mocked us both, we two together [ ...

Solution Summary

Dream of the Rood /Shambles in York are examined with references provided to amplify research.

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