Christian Elements In Beowulf


Beowulf is one of the great heroic poems in English literature. The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young, adult life and into his old age. As a young man, Beowulf becomes a legendary hero when he saves the land of the Danes from the hellish creatures, Grendel and his mother. Later, after fifty years pass, Beowulf is an old man and a great king of the Geats. A monstrous dragon soon invades his peaceful kingdom and he defends his people courageously, dying in the process. His body is burned and his ashes are placed in a cave by the sea. By placing his ashes in the seaside cave, people passing by will always remember the legendary hero and king, Beowulf.
In ...

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known, Beowulf poet. This is clear from investigations of the folk lore analogues. The manuscript was written by two scribes around AD 1000 in late West Saxon, the literary dialect of that period. It is believed that the scribes who put the old materials together into their present form were Christians and that his poem reflects a Christian tradition. The first scribe copied three prose pieces and the first 1,939 lines of Beowulf while the second scribe copied the rest of Beowulf. In 1731, a fire swept through the Cottonian Library, damaging many books and scorching the Beowulf codex. In 1786-87, after the manuscript had been deposited in the British Museum the Icelander, Grinur Jonsson Thorkelin, made two transcriptions of the poem for what was to be the first edition, in 1815 (Clark, 112-15).
Beowulf is a mixture of pagan and Christian attitudes. Heathen practices are mentioned in several places, such as vowing of sacrifices at idol fanes, the observing of omens, the burning of ...

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devil in hell,” and “the hell slave.” His actions are represented in a manner suggesting the conduct of the evil one, and he dwells with his mother in a mere which conjures visions of hell.
Beowulf’s last monstrous foe is designated by the word “wyrm” meaning a serpent or worm, and the word “draca” meaning dragon. In the Old English poetry, the worm and dragon represent enmity to mankind. The worms who devour man’s corpse after death, the dragons and serpents who receive his soul in hell, and the dragon of sin and mortality who rules over earth until Christ cancels for all time the work of the tempest. The Beowulf dragon is sufficiently snakelike, both in his appearance and behavior, ...

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Added: 1/17/2005 06:00:56 PM
Category: English
Words: 1525
Pages: 6

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