The Christian influence in Beowulf’s epic adds certain meaning and connotations for the events that are happening within the story. Without it, many implications written would hold no meaning, and instead appear to be completely random and without any reason. In Beowulf’s fight against Grendel’s mother, Beowulf managed to survive a fatal blow due to miracles created by God (Seamus, pg 107). If Christianity is taken out and God is removed from the story, Beowulf’s survival would’ve been very unlikely or he was truly lucky. A moment after, however, Beowulf stumbled upon a lucky encounter once again; a godsend sword that is able to slay Grendel’s mother was just hanging around the cave walls (pg. 107-108).
Beowulf, the oldest surviving epic poem, has been recognized as one of the most important works of Old English literature. It deals with battles, warrior culture, and redemption in a Germanic society. Many writers have analyzed the relationship between Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf, and how these were a depiction of an early medieval Scandinavian society. J. R. R. Tolkien, renowned author of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, presented his view on the Pagan and Christian elements found in early medieval societies, as shown in the poem Beowulf. Tolkien explained that the poem shows “the nearness of a pagan time,” and with it “the shadow of its despair, as an intense emotion of regret” is conveyed throughout the poem (Tolkien).
Religion plays an extremely large role in Beowulf. The theme of religion is a recurring topic in the poem. There are many mentions of God. Along with that, the story mentions Pagan and Christian Religion There are several allusions to biblical stories within Beowulf. Whenever Beowulf goes to battle, he allows God to help him.
The character Beowulf has all of the characteristics that an epic hero should have. In the Epic Hero PowerPoint, Belinda Jones says: “He has 12 main characteristics: they must look like a hero, they must be noble, famous, strong, courageous, humble, prideful, thick-skinned, self-sacrificing, faithful, focused, be a leader, and have a tragic flaw” (Jones 3). An epic hero must have all 12 characteristics or they are not an epic hero. If someone has all 12 characteristics that an epic hero is supposed to have, they can start their hero’s journey. One example that suggests that Beowulf has courage and supernatural strength would be when he stabs the dragon, landing a fatal wound.
An epic hero is someone who has to preform heroic deeds. The King of Geatland at the beginning of the poem was Hrothgar, Beowulf is just a Geatish Warrior, once Beowulf finds out about Grendel attacking he steps in to help the tribe. Beowulf kills Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon in this poem. The battles Beowulf fought were beyond human strength and capabilities. Beowulf’s first battle was with Grendel, whose arm was ripped off with a pair of bare hands, this became his first heroic achievement.
The real monster in the story of Beowulf,is the famous and glorious Beowulf. Throughout history Beowulf is looked at as someone heroic , but was he just doing it for his own glory and not for his people. Grendel is looked at as the monster but the real monster is Beowulf. Beowulf only wanted glory, money and fame. Although everyone saw Grendel as something horrible, he never hurt anyone just to hurt them.
I believe that Beowulf can be seen as a Christ figure throughout the epic of Beowulf. He shares many characteristics with Jesus. He faces a devil figure, sacrifices himself, and is recognized as a savior by his people. Beowulf to the Danes is a savior, taking away the fear that Grendel will kill all of Hrothgar’s people. In the Christian sense Jesus Christ is a savior to all Christians.
Beowulf has been read by millions of readers and critiqued by hundreds of scholars, yet it remains a popular classic worldwide; perhaps the very construct that weaves varying religious contexts has helped to create an enduring interest in this poem. Christian mores mingling with Germanic myth and nature’s religion create a distinctive relationship seldom seen in other literary works. One of literature’s earliest epic poems, Beowulf, contains a unique amalgamation of religious concepts that, at times, seem to contrast each other. Considering the time period and popular worldview of the time during which the poem was written, it is likely that the author was intentional in the style and content of his work Beowulf, written sometime between
The epic poem, Beowulf was influenced by Anglo-Saxon cultural beliefs. Beowulf is the longest, and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. The setting of the epic is the sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden. This poem strengthens the Heroic Code. This code was derived from the Anglos-Saxons’ Germanic roots and was a basis for Anglo-Saxon honor.