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Pagan Elements in Beowulf


pagan Elements in Beowulf

a period in which people such as Hrothgar and his Daneswere punished for their idolatry (Brodeur 207). These elements, that have been so uniquely combined in the poem, define the heroic warrior, Beowulf, and the evil menace, Grendels mother. Belief in a hero has always been an important article in the social and political faith of the Germanic peoples, whether they were Christian or not.6. There is an understanding, reinforced by Hrothgar, that earthly glories are granted by God. From this"tion alone we can see the fusion of Christian and pagan elements. Though all Germanic nations ultimately adopted Christian belief, pre-Christian ideas, characters, and themes persisted in art and storytelling. Cain was cursed for his sins, and Grendels monstrous nature can be explained as a result of this curse on his forebearer. It is better for a man to avenge his friend than much mourn (45). Recipients of that glory must not indulge in pride, and he must use the blessings to act according to Christian principles of charity and selflessness. To further understand the Christian and pagan elements that exist in Beowulf, we must first uncover why the author has merged Christian and pagan ideas. The Christian God has given man free will; therefore what will happen to man is not controlled by fate, but it is controlled by God.

Beowulf, a story dating to these pre-Christian times, was recorded by an unidentified author who likewise placed the characters and events into a Christian context. Later, in the Book of Genesis, God destroys the world through a flood; the world had become wicked and sinful. As a good Christian, the poet found himself faced with the task of treating this origanally pagan material in a manner acceptable to a Christian audience (Brodeur, 183 Brodeur 219). It was a period in which the virtues of the heathen Heroic Age were tempered by the gentleness of the new belief; an age warlike, yet Christian.

Beowulf: An Insider in Scoiety, The Heroic Element of The Epic of Beowulf,

We will write a custom essay sample on Christian and pagan elements in beowulf specifically for you for only.38.9/page, order now, we will write a custom essay sample on Christian and pagan elements in beowulf specifically for you. The who Was Edgar Allan Poe? poem Beowulf is full of Pagan and Christian elements, this combination gave place to many discutions about the origin of the poem. There is a recurring tension between Christianity and native heathenry throughout the world of classic Germanic literature and legend. The Old Testament character Cain and the pagan idea of fate have been merged to characterize Grendels mother. FOR only.38.9/page, hire Writer, we will write a custom essay sample on Christian and pagan elements in beowulf specifically for you. Beowulf himself is defined in terms of wyrd. Edda presents characters like Odin and Thor as historical figures who existed in a Christian world and were mistakenly identified as gods, thus preserving these ancient deities while maintaining a Christian framework.

It is hard to ignore the Christian and pagan elements of Beowulf. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge, Cambridge University Press, New York, United States of America, 2008. 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 show more content, both elements forms a contradiction that maybe were not. Christian and pagan ideals are the motivation for vengeance in Grendels Mothers Attack. Nevertheless the complete idea of the poem is based on the Christian sense of good versus evil.

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