Contrasting Religions in Beowulf

Beowulf was originally an oral, Pagan tale about a superhuman hero. However, when the story was finally written down, it was done so by Christian monks. It is believed that these monks incorporated Christian elements along with the story’s already exsisting Pagan ideals. As a result, the story of Beowulf contains contradicting beliefs from beginning to end.
All of the Christian elements in Beowulf seem to praise or make references to God and/or the Bible. The very first lines in the poem describe “the Almighty making the earth” and how “the Almighty drove those monsters out”, refering to monsters such as Grendel. Also, it is mentioned that Hrothgar’s throne is “protected by God” and that ...

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in the Bible. The entire description suggests Beowulf’s likeness with the Lord Savior. Another reference to the bible is when Grendel is said to be “born of Cain”. Cain was the first murderer, and his story is told in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. All of these mentionings reveal how Christian elements influence the story of Beowulf.
Several Pagan elements can also be found throughout this epic. The first is when it is revealed that sometimes the Danes “sacrificed to the old stone gods” as attempts to save themselves from Grendel. This implies that the Danes are Pagan and bow to the Pagan gods. Praying to the “stone gods” clearly portrays the idea of Paganism in the Anglo – Saxon society. There is also another element of Pagan belief in Beowulf.
The idea of fate is presented everywhere in this poem. It is a Pagan belief that one cannot controll one’s own fate and that fate is the deciding factor in everything. Beowulf himself says that “fate will unwind as it must” ...

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Added: 3/2/2011 07:13:22 PM
Submitted By: 1622Eastwood
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 542
Pages: 2

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