Christianity And Paganism In Beowulf Essay, Research Paper
Beowulf was written in England sometime in the eighth century. Beowulf was written in atime when Christianity was going a major faith and Paganism was still widelypracticed. Beowulf was originally likely a folklore fable told in early Gaelic andScandinavian civilizations that was passed through the ages by word-of-mouth and waswritten down and revised by a Christian monastic in ulterior centuries. Beowulf has acombination of Pagan and Christian influences written into it. This combination makes thisstory great.
The heathen elements in the heroic poem verse form Beowulf are apparent in the characterssuperhuman qualities. Beowulf is depicted as a superhero. & # 8230 ; Beowulf, & # 8230 ; the strongest ofthe Geats-greater and stronger that anyone any where in this world- & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines110-111 ) . Driping with my enemies blood & # 8230 ; drove five great giants intochains & # 8230 ; runing monsters out of the ocean, killing them one by one & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines153-1580 ) . Beowulf takes it upon himself to salvage the Danes from Grendel. In his battlewith Grendel, Beowulf chooses non to utilize arms ; he relies on his ace strength.
& # 8230 ; themonster s scorn & # 8230 ; so great that he needs no arms and frights none. Nor willI & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines 167-169 ) . During the battle, Beowulf & # 8217 ; s strength takes over andBeowulf wrestlings with Grendel until he is able to rend one of the monster & # 8217 ; s weaponries out of itssocket. Superhuman feats besides appear in the battle with Grendel & # 8217 ; s female parent. When Beowulfenters the H2O, he swims downward for most of the twenty-four hours before he sees the underside. Forhours he sank through the moving ridges ; & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, line 572 ) . He does this without the usage ofoxygen. During the conflict with Grendel & # 8217 ; s female parent, Beowulf realizes that Unferth & # 8217 ; s sword isuseless against the monsters thick tegument. He grabs an tremendous blade made by giants, about excessively heavy to keep and cuts through the monster & # 8217 ; s organic structure. Then he saw, hangingon the wall, a heavy blade, & # 8230 ; the best of all arms but so monolithic that no ordinary mancould lift & # 8230 ; lifted it high over his caput and struck with all the strength he hadleft, & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines 633-641 ) . This superhero strength continues into the conflict withthe firedrake. By this clip, Beowulf is an old adult male. He stands up to the firedrake and woundshim. Although Beowulf is fatally wounded himself, he still manages to present the finalblow that kills the firedrake. Grendel is besides seen as a superhuman monster. Grendel has noknowledge of arms so he excessively depends on his extraordinary strength to destruct hisenemies. Snatched up 30 work forces, smashed them & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, line 37 ) . Besides do to thefear of Grendel people prayed to their rock Gods, a heathen ritual. And sometimes theysacrificed to the old rock Gods & # 8230 ; trusting for Hell s support & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines 90-92 ) . Thedragon is besides seen as a ace powerful antagonist. The firedrake in Beowulf tongues fire withsuch intense heat that it melts Beowulf & # 8217 ; s screen to his organic structure. These conflicts are examples ofepic folklore during heathen times. Besides Beowulf & # 8217 ; s individual fate is to assist his people bydying while contending a supernatural animal. After Beowulf is defeated he wants his bodycremated and wants his ashes placed in a memorial tower as a reminder of
his courage, a
really unchristian rite. Have the brave Geats construct me a grave, when the funeral flameshave burned me, and construct it here, & # 8230 ; so crewmans can see the tower, and retrieve my name, and name it Beowulf s tower & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines 809-816 ) . This leaves us the feeling ofpagan immortality. Christian influences are besides really evident in the verse form. Many of the charactersexhibit Christian features. Beowulf has great kindness. Beowulf understood thepredicament of the Danes that are being attacked by the evil monster Grendel and knewwhat he had to make, merely as Jesus did for humanity. Both set out to salvage their people. Heard how Grendel filled the darks with horror & # 8230 ; would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when aid was needed ( Beowulf, lines 112-116 ) . When Beowulf battles Grendel, heexhibits a sense of equity when he refuses to utilize a arm. The thought throughout thepoem of life right, of trueness, and of being a good leader can all be seen as traits of agood Christian. Just as Beowulf slightly compares to Christ, Grendel is like Satan.Beowulf and Grendel represent the Christian beliefs of good poetries evil. Grendel isreferred to as a descendent of Cain, the adult male who killed his ain brother. Conceived by apair of those monsters born of Cain & # 8230 ; punished everlastingly for the offense of Abel sdeath. ( Beowulf, lines 20-24 ) . Satan is covetous of the felicity and joy that humanityhas, Grendel is covetous of the felicity and joy in Herot. & # 8230 ; in the darkness, growled inpain, impatient as twenty-four hours after twenty-four hours the music rang & # 8230 ; ( Beowulf, lines 2-3 ) . Grendel lives in anunderworld as Satan lives in snake pit. The firedrake is Beowulf & # 8217 ; s last and greatest conflict. Thedragon represents ill will, greed, and devastation, which can besides be paralleled to thedevil. Beowulf & # 8217 ; s battle with the firedrake is like how Jesus gave his life for his people. Finally, merely as Christ had one last conflict, Beowulf has his concluding conflict with the firedrake. Both Christand Beowulf fought hard in their last conflicts with evil and although they both ultimatelydied in their concluding conflict, they both were able to get the better of the immorality before they died. Othermore evident influences of Christianity was the mention of Hrothgar s throne beingholy. & # 8230 ; he ne’er dared to touch male monarch Hrothgar s & # 8230 ; throne, protected by God-God, whoselove Grendel could non cognize. ( Beowulf, lines 82-85 ) . The mention to God wasthroughout the verse form. God must make up one’s mind who will be given to decease s coldgrip. ( Beowulf, lines 174-175 ) . Surely the Lord Almighty could halt this lunacy, surround his lecherousness! ( Beowulf, lines 212-213 ) . The subject of Cain and Abel is brought upone more clip during the confrontation between Beowulf and Unferth. You murderedyour brothers, your ain close family. Wordss and bright humor won t assist your psyche: & # 8230 ; Unferth, everlastingly tormented. ( Beowulf, lines 320-323 ) . In decision, the writer of Beowulf was really effectual in uniting heathen andChristian thoughts in his verse form. The technique of uniting two different ideals made thepoem Beowulf really interesting to read. In blending Pagan and Christian thoughts, the poet wasable to stress the ethical motives of his times and to heighten his characters with Christianvalues and Pagan folk fable.
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