The Christianity Of Beowulf


It is agreed by almost all critics that Beowulf was once a pre-Christian poem but no one is completely sure how it went from pre-Christian to Christian influenced. There are many ideas of how it was written and one of the most popular theories is that the poem was already in poetic form and the author's own beliefs were added. Another theory is that the poem was written by a Christian who heard the story and added some of his own beliefs when he wrote it. A third theory is that the poem was already written and a Christian revised it and added his own beliefs (Blackburn, p.1). Throughout the poem there is an underlying non-Christian feeling with Christian beliefs added in. It is obvious ...

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the many references to fate, and blood revenge. These are all things that Christians are against and are often considered sins. Though mostly minor things, these are seen quite frequently and show that the author was familiar with knowledge of the bible and Christian terminology. If the poem was originally Christian, then probably non of these things would be mentioned. On the other hand, there are absolutely no references to angels, saints, the cross or Christ. These are things that are often in Christian stories but fail to show up in Beowulf.
It is also believed that when the Christian beliefs were added later, the author may have changed a significant amount of the story. This can been see through the character of Grendel. Grendel is a type of man-monster and represents all evil and darkness, just like the Christian devil. They often say Satan related things about him such as calling him "God's enemy", "Hell slave", and at one point even call him "the devil in Hell" ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/14/2007 11:14:46 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 906
Pages: 4

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