Dream-Theory in The Dream of the Rood and The Wanderer Author(s): Andrew Galloway Source: The Review of English Studies, New Series, Vol. 45, No. 180 (Nov., 1994), pp. 475-485 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/517806 . Accessed: 03/03/2011 09:19Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=oup. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
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DREAM-THEORY IN THE DREAM OF THE ROOD AND THE WANDERERBy ANDREW GALLOWAY
in as poetryis usuallybracketed a sterilepursuit,highlyspeculative its and pale in its literarysignificance.If too much dreamhypotheses theory is known in the late Middle Ages to make such speculation easily profitable,too little is known in the early period to make it conclusive.ConstanceB. Hieatt remarks the presenceof Latinate of behindOld Englishpoetrythat 'it would be impossible dream-theory to establish exactly which aspects of these traditionswere likely to have been knownby an Old Englishpoet, but there is no doubt that some of them were'.1In fact, althoughHieatt notes that Macrobius was early enough to be potentiallya source for poets' ideas about dreams,and RobertBurlinhas suggestedthat Macrobius' categories would be especially relevant to The Dream of the Rood, it is is clear that Macrobius' increasingly dream-theory less knownto the (andindeedthe later)MiddleAges thanhasoftenbeen assumed; early the only evidenceof significantattentionto his dream-theory comes from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and it is evident that one must look elsewherefor sourcesof Anglo-Saxon dream-theory.2 Simple application of Latinate dream-theoryto the vernacular materialsis in any case a manifestly inadequatetreatment of the of views of the mind and poetry;the best considerations Anglo-Saxon its characteristicshave stressed the importance of 'vernacular'including poetic-as well as the 'classical'or Latinate sources and traditions.3Though they have never been treated in this context1 C. B. Hieatt, 'Dream Frame and Verbal Echo in the Dream of the Rood', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 72 (1971), 252. 2 Ibid. 252; R. B. Burlin, 'The Ruthwell Cross, The Dream of the Rood and the Vita Contemplativa', SP 65 (1968), 36-7. On the history of Macrobius' influence, see A. Peden, 'Macrobius and Mediaeval Dream Literature', ME 54 (1985), 59-73, esp. 61-4; and W. Wetherbee, 'Macrobius', forthcoming in Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture (Binghamton). The only certain reference noted by Wetherbee to Macrobius' Commentary in extant Anglo-Saxon materials is in Byrhtferth'sManual, a comment that (citing 'Cicero') is concerned with the control of the sun over the other planets (Commentary I. xx. 3-4; Byrhtferth'sManual, ed. S. J. Crawford, EETS 177 (London, 1929), 16). This statement could well have arrived as an excerpt along with other astronomical and computational materials. 3 See esp. M. R. Godden, 'Anglo-Saxons on the Mind', in M. Lapidge and H. Gneuss (edd.), Literature and Learning in Anglo-Saxon England: Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the RESNew Series, Vol. XLV, No. 180(1994) Press1994 ? Oxford University
DETERMINING theory of dreams behind and within Old English the
together, the dream-frameof The Dream of the Rood and the dream of longing for a lord in The Wanderer stress the conditions and the meanings of dreams very clearly; as two of the most dramatic presentations of dreams in Old English poetry, these works repay consideration both in terms of the intellectual traditions possibly underpinning the poems, and the formulaic and rhetorical resources that the two poems draw from Anglo-Saxon poetic traditions in general. The differences between the two poems show that any theoretical underpinnings and original elaborations of dream-theory in them must be various indeed. Rood begins with a brief description of the quiet of midnight, 'si4pan reord-berend reste wunodon', when the dreamer had his 'swefna cyst'. The kenning, 'reord-berend', is a standard one for 'living human beings', and in fact a nearly identical phrase describes a setting for Nebuchadnezzar's first revelatory dream in Daniel: hwaet hine gemaette, restewunode (122-3)4 But this kenning has a specific relevance in Rood, since it is only after these common speakers have been quieted that the dreamer can 'hear' the Rood 'speak these words' (26-7), relaying the account of the Crucifixion and the Rood's instructions to the dreamer in turn to 'tell this vision to all men'. The shift from a private mysticism to a public proselytizing mission has been frequently noted; but what unifies these states, and what defines his dream-vision, is the special voice that emerges when the quotidian human voices have been quieted.5 This comment in Rood, and more briefly in Daniel, of the silence from daily voices that such visions entail can be aligned with at least one relatively common early medieval discussion of dreams. Commentators on The Dream of the Rood have not noted as an analogue for this opening line one of Gregory the Great's several discussions in his Moralia in Job of the nature of dreams. The general idea presented by 'si lan reord-berend reste wunodon' parallels both Job 4: 13 and pa fraegn oa menigeo [enden reordberendOccasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday (Cambridge, 1985), 271-98; Godden refers only very briefly to concepts of dreams, p. 277. 4 Citing from The Dream of the Rood, ed. M. Swanton (Manchester, 1970); and Daniel and Azarias, ed. R. T. Farrell (London, 1974). 5 P. Szarmach compares the shift from private redemption to public exemplarity in both Rood and Alfric's prose Visio Fursei, while stressing the importance of including prose as well as poetic visiones when considering the literary backgrounds to Rood. Such a context, which exceeds the present essay, Szarmach promises someday to provide: 'AElfric,the Prose Vision, and the Dream of the Rood', in A. M. Simon Vandenbergen (ed.), Studies in Honour of Rene Derolez (Ghent, 1987), 592-602.
33: 15, 'In horrore visionis nocturnae, quando solet sopor occupare homines', and 'Per somnium in visione nocturna, quando irruit sopor super homines et dormiunt in lectulo'.6 Gregory's explication of these passages is even more pertinent. For Gregory, the importance of night in bringing visions is specifically that this is when all daily voices are quiet; thus it is allegorically a time when the 'roar'of worldly concerns is quieted, as he states in his commentary on the first passage: 'Quisquis ea quae mundi sunt agere appetit quasi uigilat; quisquis uero internam quietem quaerens, huius mundi strepitum fugit, uelut obdormiscit.'7 In his commentary on the second passage Gregory again declares: 'Vox uidelicet Dei quasi per somnium auditur, quando tranquilla mente ab huius saeculi actione quiescitur et in ipso mentis silentio diuina praecepta pensantur.'8 I present only a sample of Gregory's elaborations of this theme; in both passages he expands greatly on this idea of God's voice emerging only when the daily 'tumult' is silenced (e.g. 'Aurem quippe cordis terrenarum cogitationum turba dum perstrepit, claudit, atque in secretarium mentis, quanto minus curarum tumultuantium sonus compescitur, tanto amplius uox praesidentis iudicis non auditur').9 This topos is present in varying degrees of elaboration and significance in Gregory, Rood, and Daniel; the 'source' of all three may lie in a universal commonplace, in a general topos, or in a specific link or series of links. Yet the relevance of Gregory's comments to Rood is considerable. It is often said that Rood reveals little about the initial circumstances of the dreamer, at least by comparison with the love-sick or sleepy or mournful state of later literary dreamers.10Some have noted that the dreamer's comment that he is 'synnum fag' is an6 'In the anxious visions of the night, when sleep customarily holds human beings'; 'Through dreams, in visions of the night, when deepest sleep falls upon men while they sleep in their beds'. All translations herein are mine. 7 'Each man desiring to achieve those things which pertain to the world is as if awake; but each man seeking inner quiet, fleeing the tumult of this world, is as if asleep' (Moralia in Job, ed. M. Adriaen (Turnholt, 1979), i. 255). 8 'The voice of God indeed is heard in dreams, when with a tranquil mind there is quiet from the action of this world, and in this silence of mind divine precepts are perceived' (Moralia, iii. 1172). 9 'The ear of the heart is closed while the turbulence of terrestrialthoughts resounds, and the less the sound of tumultuous cares is silenced in the secret inner part of the mind, the more the voice of the presiding judge is not heard' (Moralia, iii. 1173). An instance of the general tradition of this idea is presented in Eadmer's 12th-cent. Life of Anselm, when the saintly bishop is described as retreating into 'some question of Holy Scripture' whenever he is too greatly overwhelmed by the 'vani clamores', 'contentiones', and 'jurgia'of secular business. 'For unless he did this, he was immediately overcome with weariness; his spirits drooped, and he even ran the risk of serious illness' (The Life of St. Anselm, Archbishopof Canterbury, by Eadmer, ed. and trans. R. W. Southern (London, 1962), ii. 81, pp. 80-1). 10 e.g. Hieatt, 'Dream Frame and Verbal Echo', 253; J. Burrow, 'An Approach to the Dream of the Rood', Neophilologus, 43 (1959), 133.
important detail, implying that he is 'a representative of ordinary sinful humanity',11 or at the beginning of his 'spiritual progression' from compunction of penance to compunction of love,12 or at the threshold of forging an alignment between the Rood's wounded state and his own sins.13 The more important and basic detail, however, is the assertion that in the silence of night he is isolated from everyday 'voice-bearers', and this has received relatively little attention. The midnight setting may be powerfully and plausibly aligned with the monastic hour of nocturns;14yet as John Fleming observes, we cannot take the poem's points as 'uniquely monastic'.15 According to Gregorian dream-theory, this circumstance of night-time silence, however interpreted or achieved, is what makes a divine vision possible, making room for a divine voice that can in turn inspire the authoritative voices of worshippers and visionary poets. As the Rood goes on to tell the dreamer, in an ironic echo and contrast to the poem's opening statement, the Rood's present function is to show the right way of life to 'reordberend' (88-9)-those now authorized to spread his account. For both Gregory and Rood, out of night-time silence speech is reclaimed and redeemed. What the dreamer in Rood awakens to has sometimes been taken to mark his literal commitment to the monastic or 'contemplative' life, so life-transforming is it.16 But it is clear that what the dreamer awakens to is also a full realization of Gregory's redefinition of 'sleep' and 'waking': 'Quisquis ea quae mundi sunt agere appetit quasi uigilat; quisquis uero internam quietem quaerens, huius mundi strepitum fugit, uelut obdormiscit.' In this respect, the description of awakening in Rood is a crucial assertion of the narrator'snewfound application of Gregory's meanings of sleeping and waking, realized in the moment when the experience of the dream is assessed against the dreamer's waking condition and given living effect:
11 Hieatt, 'Dream Frame and Verbal Echo', 253. 12 E. R. Anderson, 'Liturgical Influence in The Dream of the Rood', Neophilologus, 73 (1989), 297. 13 J. Fleming, 'The Dream of the Rood and Anglo-Saxon Monasticism', Traditio, 22 (1966), 60, citing an unpub. paper by F. Patten. See also E. B. Irving, Jr., 'Crucifixion Witnessed, or Dramatic Interaction in The Dream of the Rood', in P. R. Brown, G. R. Crampton, F. C. Robinson (edd.), Modes of Interpretation in Old English Literature: Essays in Honour of Stanley B. Greenfield (Toronto, 1986), 103-4. 14 So Fleming, 'The Dream of the Rood', 70-1, and Anderson, 'Liturgical Influence', 295-6, 299. 15 Fleming, 'The Dream of the Rood', 60. 16 See Burlin, 'The Ruthwell Cross', and Fleming, 'The Dream of the Rood'.
DREAM-THEORY Gebaed ic me Oato Dam beame elne micle, laer ic ana waes maeteweorode; was modsefa on forlweg ... afysed blioe mode,
(122-5) But the poem's narrator awakens to a sense of 'sleeping' and 'waking' that goes beyond even Gregory's comments, to an assertion of the social plenitude of the celestial realm that is waiting for those entering the silence of sleep and the more complete silence of death: Nag ic ricra fela Ac hie fort heonan freonda on foldan. sohton him wuldres Cyning; gewiton of weorolde dreamum, mid Heah-Fadere, libba4 nu on heofonum and ic wene me wunia) on wuldre; hwonne me Dryhtnes rod, daga gehwelce ar sceawode, pe ic her on eoroan on Pissum a1Tnan life gefecce, and me tonne gebringe is Iaer bliss micel, dream on heofonum, Paeris Dryhtnes folc geseted to symble ... (131-41) In lingering on the aftermath of the dream-on the 'awakening' that occurs in many senses-the narrator of The Dream of the Rood develops dream-theory through a narrative mode that is distinctly different from Gregory's comments but fully consonant with Old English poetic idioms. For scenes of awakening are dramatized moments of realization, reassessment, and sometimes action in several other Old English poems. Such a moment is elaborated twice in Daniel in the absence of any source in the Vulgate's descriptions of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams, even though the Old English poem shows little interest in the content of the two dreams Nebuchadnezzar experiences, even omitting the final eight dreams in the Vulgate Daniel: se aerwingal swaef, pa onwoc wulfheort, Nas him bli6e hige, Babilone weard. ac him sorh astah, swefnes woma. (116-18) (swefn waesset ende), pa of slaepeonwoc, Him laes egesa stod, eorolic aexeling. )e fyder god sende. gryre fram )am gaste (523-5) elaborations of the shock of awakening must be reckoned Beowulfs minor masterpieces; these moments-what the narrator at one point
calls 'morgensweg'-are among the most dramatic aspects of the attacks of Grendel and his mother, moments of measuring the consequences of what has happened, emphasizing the power and reality of what occurs in the dead of night (126-9; 1302-15). Later lyrical genres such as the aubade are distantly related to this occasion, although dream-theory and later dream-poetry do not pursue this emphasis; more closely related is the awakening in The Wanderer, as I show below. The comments from Gregory's Moralia that I have pointed out are not the only available 'theories' of dreaming in the early Middle Ages; indeed, the Moralia itself presents a far more influential discussion of dreams. In another passage of this text, and repeated almost verbatim in Gregory's Dialogus and Isidore's Liber Derivationum, is a taxonomy of dreams whose basic terms remain influential throughout the Middle Ages.17 Gregory presents six types of dreams, comprising those caused by emptiness, by overfullness, by illusion, by thought along with illusion, by revelation, and by thought along with revelation. The first two kinds of dreams everyone knows, Gregory declares; the last four are exemplified in Scripture. Illusions are those diabolical visions that can arrive by their own force or because we have been thinking about what they contain; revelations are those divine visions that can similarly arrive by their own force or with our cogitation, as when Nebuchadnezzar falls asleep considering what the future might be and gains a revelation that he cannot understand. The 'Gregorian' taxonomy of dreams is more common throughout the Middle Ages than has generally been recognized; in Anglo-Saxon culture, Gregory's taxonomy was manifestly available through the wide dissemination of the Moralia and the Dialogorum Liber.1817 Moralia, i. 413-14; Liber Dialogorum, IV, cap. xlviii (PL 77, col. 409); Isidore, Libri Sententiarum, II, cap. vi (PL 83, col. 668-71). 18 Apart from his own works, Gregory's taxonomy of dreams can be found in the llth-cent. Liber de bene vivendi by pseudo-Bernard-whence it was trans. into Richard Rolle's popular 'Form of Living'; the Gregorian taxonomy is also found in the popular 13th-cent. French penitential, Waddington's Manual de Pechiez, whence it was trans. into Robert Mannynge of Brunne's Handlynge Sinne. See R. Rolle, Prose and Verse, ed. S. J. Ogilvie-Thomson, EETS 293 (Oxford, 1988), 8; R. Mannynge of Brunne, Handlyng Synne, ed. F. J. Furnivall, EETS 119 (London, 1901), i. 14-18. Of the dissemination of Gregory's own works (or putative works, since the authorship of the Dialogi has recently been disputed: see Clark, cited below), c.600 manuscripts of the Moralia are counted, and there are thousands of the Dialogi, most from the 9th cent. on. Ten extant manuscripts of the Moralia are known from Anglo-Saxon England, and many 12th-cent. copies; other copies are mentioned in a booklist of Saewold, abbot of Bath (c.1070), and an llth- or 12th-cent. booklist probably from Peterborough. The Dialogi were known to Aldhelm, to Adamnam, and to the English author of the earliest Vita of Gregory (cited in n. 19 below), and were translated into Old English in the 11th cent. (the passage on dreams is in cap. 50 of the trans.). Copies of the Latin work are mentioned in 4 of the 13 extant booklists from Anglo-Saxon England; one of those booklists is itself found at the end of a copy of the Moralia (Oxford, Bod.
Anglo-Saxon monks appear to have had a special affinity for Gregory's works, since he first sent Christian missionaries to their island. The earliest Life of Gregory, written in England, describes a dream-vision which also occasions one of the earliest recorded struggles of thought about the validity of dreams, for 'somniorum fallatia multimoda', the narrator notes, and he quotes a scriptural phrase that Gregory also quotes: 'Multos errare fecerunt somnia'. The dreamer even asks another monk, who similarly thinks it is only a 'somnium'.19 The dream turns out to be true, but not before the dreamer repeatedly doubts it in the style of Gregory's own strictures. The dream in The Wanderer is very frequently compared with and defined in terms of the mind's flight in The Seafarer; but the Wanderer's account can also be productively compared to the dreamvision in Rood, as a 'false' vision against a 'true' one. To make this comparison, and to use Gregorian dream-theoryin doing so, is to find a less approving interpretation of the dream in The Wanderer than is usually assumed. Peter Clemoes, for instance, comparing the flight of the mind in The Seafarer and The Wanderer, suggests that the dream in The Wanderer is at least indirectly based on a passage from Ambrose's Hexaemeron praising the mind's waking ability to travel freely and to speak with those who are absent.20 Clemoes hesitates to offer Ambrose as a direct source, since Ambrose is not concerned with the experiences of dreams as such, and since he describes the mind's ability to think about what distant people are doing in the present, not with memories of those who are dead.21 Clemoes is willing to stretch the passage from Ambrose to imply that 'we think of [distant persons] to compensate for their absence from our actual surroundings',22but in fact the idea of a dream as compensation, the emphasis on the distressed circumstances of the dreamer, is a property of The Wanderer absent from Ambrose's praise for the mind's unbounded abilities. Ambrose's comments on conversing with those absent is an important analogue to and possibly influence on the dream in The Wanderer;Lib. Tanner 3). A 12th-cent. document from Durham includes the Dialogi among the books read at mealtimes in the refectory, and it is quite possible that the same books were read for this purpose in the Anglo-Saxon period as well, since many of the others also recur in the booklists. (See Moralia, i. xvii, xix, xxi; M. Lapidge, 'Surviving Booklists from Anglo-Saxon England', in Lapidge and Gneuss (edd.), Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England, 35 n. 11, 59-60, 63, 69-72, 77, 80; F. Clark, The Pseudo-Gregorian Dialogues (Leiden, 1987), 163-85; and Bischofs Werferth von Worcester Ubersetzung der Dialoge Gregors des Grossen, ed. H. Hecht (Leipzig, 1900-7).) 19 The Earliest Life of Gregory the Great, ed. B. Colgrave (Cambridge, 1985), cap. xviii, p. 102. Cf. Moralia, i. 413. 20 P. Clemoes, 'Mens absentia cogitans in The Seafarer and The Wanderer', in D. A. Pearsall and R. A. Waldron (edd.), Medieval Literature and Civilization: Studies in Memory of G. N. Garmonsway (London, 1969), 73-7. 21 Ibid. 74. 22 Ibid. 73.
but the poem's underlying assumptions and further elaborations of the origins and nature of dreams as such must still be accounted for. Gregory's theories at least show that 'naturalistic' explanations for dreams in the Middle Ages are not the exclusive provenance of the thirteenth and later centuries with the rediscovery of Aristotle; the Wanderer's dreaming is introduced with the statement that 'sorg ond slap' have 'both together bound the wretched solitary wanderer' (39-40), and it can fairly easily be argued-though to my knowledge it has not been-that a man who is shown longing for his lord and then dreaming of him fits Gregory's theory about how false dreams can be produced by emptiness (inanitate), by illusion (illusione), or by thought along with illusion (cogitatione simul et illusione). Parallels with all these suggest that the Wanderer'sdream might be considered what Gregory calls a vana illusio,23 in this case bringing before one who is troubled in both body and mind an image of and the desire for a beloved who is no longer accessible (the term, and the general situation, remain attested as late as Dante's 'vane imaginazioni' of Beatrice in the Vita Nuova-e.g. cap. 23, 24, 39 (40)). The experiences of The Wanderer'snarrator, who desperately asserts the need to find a stability of heart ('ne to forht, ne to faegen'(68)) amidst inner and outer trials, rather neatly exemplify Gregory's remarks in this section on Job 7: 14, terrebis me per somnia et per uisiones horrore concuties, where, Gregory states, the righteous must keep the 'foot of the heart' free from the many inner and outer snares, including illusory dreams and illicit thoughts, to which such righteous are subject: 'quia iustorum uita et per uigilias temptatione quatitur, et per somnium illusione fatigatur, foris corruptionis suae molestias tolerat, intus apud semetipsam grauiter illicitas cogitationes portat, quid est quod faciat, ut pedem cordis a tot scandalorum laqueis euellat?'24 A fair reason for resisting this use of Gregory's-or any writer'sdream-theory in considering The Wanderer is that the terms introducing the narrator'svision, 'sorg ond slaep', appear together fairly often in Old English poetry. It is on this basis that the most recent editors of the poem reject views seeking to align these words with the dream, or indeed make anything specifically meaningful out of them at all.25Yetillusion, from without enduring the burdens of its own corruption, from within itself carrying the weight of illicit cogitations, what might it do so that the foot of the heart might escape the snares of so many scandals?' (Moralia, i. 415). 25 See The Wanderer, ed. T. P. Dunning and A. J. Bliss (London, 1969), 111, rejecting Willi Erzgraber's suggestion that 'slaep'refers to the vision of his lord that the narrator relates, and 'sorg' refers to the associated pain of the memory ('Der Wanderer: Eine Interpretation von Aufbau und Gehalt', in H. Viebrock and W. Erzgraber (edd.), Festschrift zum 75. Geburtstag von TheodorSpira (Heidelberg, 1961), 64. Dunning and Bliss's rejection of this is based only on23 Moralia, i. 413. 24 'Since the life of the just is both shaken in waking by temptation, and wearied in dreams by
on the other occasions in the extant poetry when these terms occur together, they do not introduce or mention dreams or visions; their specific application in The Wanderer should be assessed, to some degree at least, by local meaning.26 No a priori reason exists to disregard the meaning that a particular context confers on a formula, nor to ignore an available Latinate theoretical tradition providing a parallel to that meaning. In presenting a troubled and troubling dream, to mention the combined forces of 'sorg' and 'slep' as these 'wrapped around' the dreamer, is surely to specify a significant context for his dream. Even if the parallels between Gregory's and the Wanderer-poet's ideas of dreams produced by deprivation or cogitation are considered as only analogous to early medieval understandings of the relation of circumstances to dreams, they still help map a common body of what we may consider 'dream-theory'of the period, however specifically or generally disseminated and maintained. But just as Rood goes further than Gregory in depicting the nature of a 'true' dream, so The Wanderer goes well beyond Gregory's comments in showing the narrator'sreaction to his dream. Daniel G. Calder's remarkson the function of the visions in the poem help make this clear. The Wanderer'spoint of view after his painful awakenings extends to survey all worldly transience; as Calder observes: 'After the wanderer has referred for the last time to the wapema gebind, his perspective gradually broadens in such a way as to imply that he acquires a universal understanding quite different from the narrow and personal point of view of the first section . . . the visions have taught him that his own exile and his own loss were but types of the whole pattern of loss and mutability in the world.'27 Although Calder does not make the comparison or point to this aspect of the narrative structure, in The Wanderer as in Rood it is in the portrayal of waking up that this new state of understanding from dreams occurs, now in a dark inversion of the joyous awakening of the Rood narrator:
the evidence that 'sorg' and 'slap' are elsewhere found together (and therefore presumably so 'formulaic' that they cannot be taken to mean anything). But Erzgraber'scomments can also be questioned because they imply a very specific and delimited application of these terms. To my mind, 'sorg' and 'slaep'are clearly formulaic but may still be taken as introducing and supplying the circumstances of the Wanderer's immediately following dream, without requiring a more specific allocation of each of their meanings to the different moments or aspects of his narrative. 26 For the other occurrences, see Solomon and Saturn (1. 313); Phoenix (1. 56); Judgment Day II (11. 256-60). 27 D. G. Calder, 'Setting and Mode in The Seafarer and The Wanderer', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, 72 (1971), 272.
GALLOWAY 6onne onwaecneoeft wineleas guma, fealwe waegas, gesiho him biforan braedanfepra, baoian brimfuglas, hreosan hrim ond snaw hagle gemenged. Donne beoo py hefigran heortan benne, sare after swesnesorg bio geniwad ...
(45-50)Phrases for 'sorrow is renewed' play a prominent role in Beowulfs 'scenes of awakenings' after the monsters' attacks (1301, 2287); the formula is indeed a common one. But in The Wanderer it carries special point; the Wanderer is himself 'renewed' by the dream. Here too, at least as powerfully as in Rood, the experience of awakening is transforming: geond pas woruld Forpon ic gepencan ne maeg min ne gesweorce, forhwan modsefa eal geondpence, tonne ic eorla lif flet ofgeafon, hu hi faerlice swa Pes middangeard modge magulegnas, dreoseo ond feallep. ealra dogra gehwam (57-62) If the Wanderer's vain illusion is a temptation, whether diabolically or naturally or intellectually produced,28 it has the opposite effect from enforcing any attachment to the civitas terrena. The world, the flesh, and the devil have here done God's work. At the least, such illusory dreams have led the Wanderer to ask as forcefully as Gregory does about the righteous man, beleaguered by vain illusions and temptations, 'quid est quod faciat, ut pedem cordis a tot scandalorum laqueis euellat?' For although the Wanderer's hallucinatory dreams of social and worldly satisfaction bring back to his mind the kinds of terrestrial social attachments and luxuries he has cultivated, the comforts he declares at first that he would still like to find (16-24), the dream effects a reversal in his stated goals. The jarring shock of not having these satisfactions when he awakens leads him to confront fully and directly the limits of that temporal-and temporary-world. After the dream, like Gregory's righteous man he looks to the need for inner stability and apatheia. Dream-theory in Rood and The Wanderer relates circumstance to dreaming by means that these sources and analogues show are the traditions are fused here in strikingly 'traditional'-although and intricate ways. In both large and small matters, the original28
See Moralia, i. 413.
narrative frameworks and dream-theory that the two poems embody resonate both with available Latinate dream-theory and with the idioms of Old English poetry. The dreams in both poems, for instance, present an unappreciated alignment between microcosm and macrocosm of a kind that J. E. Cross has shown is pervasive in Anglo-Saxon writings. The two kinds of dreams in Rood and The Wanderer present dreams characteristic of the worlds that the narrators inhabit and survey: 'false' visions, produced by physical and social hardship, are consonant with the world of a poem like The Wanderer, where the cosmos surveyed is a world of transitory relations and transitory existence; 'true' visions, produced by a seclusion from the temporal world, are consonant with the world of Rood, whose cosmos is the spiritual and celestial kingdom and But in both The Wanderer and Rood these alignments are less inert parallels between the dreamers and their worlds than dynamic and mutually transforming interactions between consciousness and its contexts, and the portrayal of these interactions is among the poems' most artistically and ethically satisfying achievements. In both poems, interactions between the mind's visions and the waking world are explored by dwelling on the moments of awakening, a focus that is prepared for but not made inevitable by the topoi of Old English poetry. It is not an emphasis pursued by later dream-visions. Such a narrative attention in these contexts to awakening serves to point up the ethical question implicit in any dream-theory: after such a dream, what should we do in our waking lives? This constitutes the poems' most original contribution to dream-theory as such. For if at the points of entering the dream-world the poems expend considerable artistry demonstrating how deeply spiritual and psychological experience depends on circumstance, at the points of leaving those visions they show in turn how thoroughly the reawakenedmind can reimagineits situation. society.29
29 See J. E. Cross, 'Aspects of Microcosm and Macrocosm in Old English Literature', in S. Greenfield (ed.), Studies in Old English in Honor ofArthur G. Brodeur (n.p.: 1963), 1-22. Cross does not consider The Dream of the Rood, The Wanderer, or Old English presentations of dreams.