Monsters In Beowulf

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The cultural influences of Christianity can be traced to the presence of monsters in Beowulf. The depiction of the monster Grendel is a reflection of demons in Biblical nature. His existence itself “among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts” (David and Simpson 44) prove that as Grendel is a descendant of Cain, who killed his own brother Abel, he is an evil figure that stems from a Christian symbol of evil. Nonetheless, as Grendel is a spawn of Cain, Goldsmith argues that the poet wants to show the battle with Grendel “is part of the uncompoundable feud between God’s people and the race of Cain”(Goldsmith).
Furthermore, while the battle to defeat Grendel is one to protect home and hearth by banishing evil, it is also an inevitable battle that will be forever connected between Christians and Cain’s offspring. Another monster that has a clear connection to Biblical creatures is the dragon. While the dragon does not have a clear-cut relation to the Old Testament, he symbolizes the Christian devil that is often depicted in the Bible as a serpent or dragon. His sole purpose in life is to hunt out treasures and live contently among his hoards. His greed and lust
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The difference between a pagan and Christian outlook on fate and wyrd is an uncontrollable, higher power that is unpreventable. However, while fate is of pagan roots, it becomes overshadowed by a Christian view on fate when it is believed to be a result of man’s actions and is ultimately controlled by God. The power of God to deliver judgment and seal fate in Beowulf is the resounding theme. Hrothgar’s troubles with Grendel’s attack have a two-fold outlook on fate. “My household guard are on the wane, fate sweeps them away into Grendel’s clutches-but God can easily halt these raids and harrowing attacks” (David and Simpson 51).
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