In the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, there is plenty of controversy over whether or not the poem was considered Christian or Pagan. It is understandable that there may be both themes seen throughout this particular work. Beowulf is referred to as a very outstanding piece of British literature during the eighteenth century. Although re-written in the eleventh century, Anglo-Saxon themes represented the ideals of Christianity in a more virtuous, and outright manner. Whereas, in Beowulf, the author makes use of many purposeful situations that lead readers to consider the intentions and major themes that they considered rare at the time. I will discuss how both of these ideologies are seen within this poem, and how Beowulf is a pagan story with undeniable
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. One can make an argument that he isn’t by saying Jesus never battles anyone, or that Jesus is reborn but there is a clear comparison between these two people.
The names of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. are known worldwide. They have lead many fighting what they believe in. One man many people think of when being a leader to fight for his beliefs of the people is Jesus Christ. Jesus is loved by many and hated by the powerful, just like these three other men, but their is one comparison that has been made to a certain protagonist of ancient times. In the epic poem ,Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, is a leader who fights for the betterment of society while being the one that many look up to. Beowulf is a Christ-like figure because of his selfless leadership to protect others, not for himself. Beowulf is seen as a Christ-like figure because he is unearthly . Jesus and Beowulf are leaders who make loving decisions and
Which brings the reader to assume the reason he didn’t fight against another man is the fact Beowulf wasn’t entailed with evil doing. Britannica mentions, “ Many critics have seen the poem as a Christian allegory, with Beowulf the champion of goodness and light against the forces of evil and darkness.” To the critics his death wasn’t seen as tragic but seen as the end of a good hero’s life. Biblical allusions occurred in abundance in Anglo-Saxon literature, most things written in the 1800s had morals and a purpose which revolved around
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).
Of all the great heroes in epics and movies alike, each one of them has his or her great traits as well as fatal flaws. Unfortunately, our hero’s fatal flaw is losing faith in God and he loses his life because of that. In the epic Beowulf, many references to Paganism and Christianity are found throughout the tale due to the author’s belief that faith in God assures victory whereas faith in paganism assures defeat.
Critically assess the extent of Christian and Latinate influence on Beowulf. When first reading Beowulf it would appear that the Christian references within it superimpose onto the essentially pagan view that makes a huge body of the poem. Therefore, within this assignment, there will be investigations of inconsistencies. Sources clearly show that Beowulf was written by Germanic pagans that had been debauched by some leftist ecclesiastic wordsmith , to the insistence that the author designedly created the Christian allegory along the lines of Book 1 of The Faerie Queen. It is know that Germanic traditions and techniques were used by Anglo-Saxons to frame Christian literature, just as it was with the poet of Beowulf.
The poem remarks a biblical reference as “Grendel … A kindred of Cain” first surfaces. Moreover, the poem often alludes to God as well as the worlds of Heaven and Hell further elucidating the Anglo Saxon views. Beowulf clearly demonstrates his acknowledgement of God countless times: In fact, Beowulf could well have been slayed by Grendel’s fiendish mother had “God not saved him [Beowulf].” The presence of religious influences are reinstated by the glut of glorifications and innuendos of Christianity and the concept of God within the Anglo Saxon society. Even the mighty King Hrothgar depicts these values showing his scarce concern for material objects “Sharing the gifts God had bestowed on him” signifying his compassion, a requisite for Christian
In Beowulf, Grendel the dragon is looked at in a very negative light, as an evil character. This is due to the strong descriptive words that the author uses, such as: “a powerful monster…in darkness…growled in pain” (pg.41 L. ). These words paint a clear picture of Grendel, and it supplies you a feeling for how evil the beast truly is. The epic states that Grendel was “spawned in that slime” (pg.41 L.), giving a very dark image of what he was conceived into. Grendel is a character of true evil.
In the poem Beowulf, there is a contrast between good and evil. This distinction is presented through the monsters Grendel and his mother, in parallel to the hero Beowulf. The themes of evil and monstrosity are therefore used in the story, as a way to create the notion of Grendel and his mother as monsters. Beowulf therefore appears as a character representing good. Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently.
Both authors paint a grotesque picture of their creations and how they both desire to destroy beauty; Aesthetic Iconoclasm, that is shared between the two figures. However, both authors present their monsters separate to one another in philosophy; with Grendel being a mindless savage and the Monster being more contemplative and questioning the nature of its own creation. ‘Monster’ characters have always been a target of both folk tales and pagan myths since the dawn of humanity, the very concept of a monstrous creature harkens back to the primal fear instinct of facing a dangerous predator that presents a danger to humanity. Grendel from Beowulf is the perfect example of this hysteria and
In Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, religion and hell are referenced to many times throughout the story. “Because the poet 's obvious references to religious matters are infrequent and elementary, he would-appear to have had a slight grasp of Christianity as we understand it, unless he disguised his erudition with characteristic Anglo-Saxon understatement (Whallon).” Chapter two of Beowulf “is most interesting when it collects the familiar evidence for Christian education in the early Anglo-Saxon (Parker)” era. When he speaks of the arrows of the devil in lines 1743 through 1744, “Grown too distracted. A killer stalks him, An archer who draws a deadly bow,” “one may therefore look to a passage in Ephesians, observe that the image was common
An Understanding on Beowulf: An Analysis on How Beowulf Contrasts Good Versus Evil Beowulf is the typical story of good versus evil.in this poem, good is portrayed by our hero, Beowulf. Evil, on the other hand, does not have one representation, but rather several, most are in form of monsters. To be good, you need to be the opposite of what evil is and what it does. Beowulf does that several times throughout the whole poem. Grendel, the first monster Beowulf encountered, attacked because he was exiled form the rest of society and probably felt angry and jealous out of the peoples joy(87).he was probably jealous of the happiness of others, and like many people, he decided that if he was not happy, no one should be happy.