Christain Influences in Beowulf

Topics: Beowulf, Christianity, Jesus Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: November 6, 2007
Beowulf is a blending of Christian traditions and folk story that praises loyalty, courage, and faith in the face of extreme danger and even death. It presents a model of a human being willing to die to deliver others from terrifying evil forces. Beowulf shows a strong Christian influence that the monks left as they recorded the story, giving the story a new meaning.

Monks blended Christian beliefs with the traditional folk story of Beowulf. This gave the story several references to the Christian God, and in fact showing Beowulf as a Christ-like-figure. The references start right at the very beginning of the poem and continue through out the entire epic. The epic starts out by describing how God created the earth, "the Almighty making the earth, shaping these beautiful plains marked off by the oceans, then proudly setting the sun and moon to glow across the land and light it; the corners of the earth were made lovely with trees and leaves, made quick with life, with each of the nations who now move on its face." (1:21). There are several other instances of Christian importance all through the poem showing that the monks put there own opinions into this literary work.

In the opening lines of Beowulf the monster, Grendel is identified with the Devil. In Christianity the Devil is the source of pure evil and is the complete opposite of Christ whom Beowulf identifies with. Grendel was "conceived by a pair of monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God punished forever for the crime of Abel's death." (1:21). Grendel also "made his home in a hell" (1:21) just as Satan does and is known as "a brood forever opposing the Lord's will" (1:21).

Beowulf shows a clear reference to God protecting the people. An example of this as the poem begins is Grendel not even daring about touch Hrothgar's throne specifically because it is protected by God. Another reference is Beowulf putting his fate into God's hands, he believes that God knows and decides the...
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