Medieval Boethius & the Rood: Term Paper

Total Length: 847 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: -2

Page 1 of 3

" The pen of the philosopher, like the Cross, is maimed yet a necessary implement. He is in despair, for "loomy songs make no feigned tears bedew my face. Then could no fear so overcome to leave me companionless upon my way." (Book 1, p.1) But Boethuis is not alone, because like in "The Dream of the Rood," his pen, his muse, and the nature of human Fortune itself are all speakers in his cell.

Likewise, the relationship between the philosopher, his muse in the form of his pen and the relationship of Christ and the cross is both loving and adversarial. The relationship between Boethius and his writing with a pen and his eventual fate are also paradoxical in the sense that Christ needs the Rood or Cross to fulfill His earthy mission to save humanity, and Boethuis' needs his pen. These implements cause pain yet are vital in conveying a sense of dialogue and mission to humanity from the heart.

When Boethuis despairs as a man, unlike divinity, Fortune reproaches him." 'But now,' said she,' is the time for the physician's art, rather than for complaining.' Then fixing her eyes wholly on me, she said, ' Are you the man who was nourished upon the milk of my learning, brought up with my food until you had won your way to the power of a manly soul? Surely I had given you such weapons as would keep you safe, and your strength unconquered; if you had not thrown them away. Do you know me? Why do you keep silence? Are you dumb from shame or from dull amazement? I would it were from shame, but I see that amazement has overwhelmed you.' (Book 1, p.
5) The relationship between despairing humanity and the implements of salvation, whether they be philosophy, the Rood, or of destiny itself in the form of Fortune, thus is one of teacher and instructor -- the human being must learn, even if this is painful, yet the implement of this learning, whether pen, Fortune, or one's personal Cross or the Rood itself, also suffers as well as rejoices in this difficult spiritual educational process.

Works Cited

About the Dream of the Rood." Text retrieved online on 18 Jan 2005 at http://www.flsouthern.edu/eng/abruce/rood/POEM.HTM#back

Boethius. "The Consolation of Philosophy. Translated by W.V. Cooper, 1902. Text retrieved online on 18 Jan 2005 at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/browse-mixed-new?id=BoePhil&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public.....

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