pagan and christian elements in beowulf essay
In his words and actions, Beowulf embodies both Christian and Anglo-Saxon ideals; however, they reveal him to be more of a Christian than a pagan. In the traditional Christian belief, it is understood that earthly treasures serve no purpose in the afterlife. Therefore, Beowulf named his weapon Hrunting due to traditions and customs of that time, and this can be also viewed as a pagan element of the story. Thanks for visiting my blog! ...María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards Many natives of non-Christian belief believe in fame as a way to earn their title in the world. Necessity to keep the culture, customs, traditions and, especially, values of society and to pass them through the hands of history for the future descendants, … Although this occurred, Beowulf spoke of God more frequently than a force of fame. From the critical point of view, careful analysis shows that every folk experienced a creating of ballads, songs, legends and poems. The poem Beowulf is full of Pagan and Christian elements, this combination gave place to many discutions about the origin of the poem. Most critics agree on the fact that Beowulf is the work of a single Christian poet. From Cains soul came evil monsters, one in particular, Grendel. The rite of cremation falls in line with the idea that the body must be destroyed in order secure the spirit. As a result, many of the gross pagan features are expunged from the poem. Examples for this are very easy to find: legendary king Arthur named his sword Escalibur. Therefore, is the Beowulf with witch the first... ...Beowulf: Christian or Pagan Beliefs? These elements, that have been so uniquely combined in the poem, define the heroic warrior, Beowulf, and the evil menace, Grendel's mother. In lines 1261-1268, the story of Cain and Abel are briefly explained, but not far from this Christian reference is the idea of revenge, in line 1278, which is frowned upon in Christianity, but it was a popular belief among the Anglo-Saxon culture at that time. C. ROBINSON, Fred, Beowulf, The Cambridge companion to Old English Literature, ed. Without the effects of both the reader would only see one side instead of both aspects, both good and evil. Christian and pagan ideals are the motivation for vengeance in "Grendel's Mother's Attack." The Anglo Saxon’s also loved poetry, and they used it to keep track of the history of their people. Paganism is commonly used to refer to various, largely unconnected religions and beliefs from that time period. Let us first consider the pagan elements in the poem. Besides, the wild natural descriptions like the icy and stormy sea, the marshy land and the storm swept sea permeate the poem with pagan spirits. On the other hand Christianity's moralities are based meekness and poverty. The scop at Heorot chants of the creation of how the Maker wrought the shining earth with its circling waters. Beowulf says "fate often saves the undoomed man when his courage is good" (34) just after a "signal of God, the sea became still" (34) saving the warrior from sea-monsters. Log in. New York: Oxford University Press, 1951 The Bible, New International Version, Smiley Brothers, Chicago, 1997 Kellogg, Robert L. The Context for Epic in Later Anglo-Saxon England. “It was long held that the most substancial surviving Old English poem, Beowulf, was a pre-Christian composition which had somehow been tampered with by monastic scribes in order to give it an acceptably Christian frame of reference.”1 “The poem is strongly linked to the Germanic roots of the English nation and displays the qualities of English before the language and literary tradition became quite intermingled with French, classical and other non-Germanic cultures.”2 Men would be laid out in a boat with their possessions, and then be sent out to sea, supposedly to be sent to the afterlife. For instance, in Slavonic traditional epos Story of Igors Flock pagan elements were introduced to symbolize the matter of obsolete culture falling away, and transition to new philosophy Christianity. Transfigures the pagan idea of fate epic, Beowulf applies the whole system pagan. 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