Beowulf Christian or Peagan Influences

Topics: Beowulf, Christianity, Good and evil Pages: 3 (858 words) Published: September 13, 2008
The epic poem Beowulf is a tale of a warrior, named Beowulf, and the events that lead to his death. One of the main concerns of the epic poem was whether or not it is of pagan or Christian origin, or whether it has pagan or Christian influences. Even though the poem appeared to be originally a pagan story, there are many clues in the text that point to Christian influence and tradition. Beowulf is essentially a Christian story with Christian customs: that man's survival depends on the protection of God, that earthly gifts come from God, and also that Beowulf is a Christ-figure.

Throughout the poem, there are numerous references to Christianity, mostly referring to God, or the Almighty. These references begin right from the beginning of the poem. The story starts with Grendel hearing the bard telling the story of creation. The reader hears how the Almighty has made the earth and all that is beautiful, lovely, and full of life. "The Almighty making the earth, shaping these beautiful plains marked off by oceans ... made quick with life"(7-12). This shows how God has given his people great gifts like the earth they live on, and the most precious gift, life. There are also other instances where the notion of God giving his people gifts is made obvious. This is when Beowulf is dying and Wiglaf finds the dragon's treasure. Beowulf clearly thanks God for his grace in giving him the treasure. This once again shows the Christian influence in the poem because Beowulf recognizes the importance of God in his life.

Another display of Christian influence in the poem is how the people believe in the protection of God. This is first seen when Grendel dares not to touch Hrothgar's throne because of its protection by God. This is also seen when Beowulf is speaking about fighting Grendel. He is not afraid of the beast because he says that God must decide who will die in this fight. This shows how Beowulf has faith in God because he knows God will protect him, or if he dies it...
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