Christian Elements in Beowulf

Topics: Beowulf, Bible, Christianity Pages: 2 (605 words) Published: December 5, 2011
The epic poem Beowulf which was written in pagan times, it is complete with many allusions to topics relating to the Christian faith that can be used as evidence of a Christian influence. For instance passages containing biblical history, displeasure with heathen ideas, and the mention of doctrines typically Christian can be found in the text of Beowulf. This is important because it will prove that a Beowulf was written by a Christian author to inform and entertain a Christian audience and also spread the beliefs and ideas of the religion. One of the first Christian influences noticed were the passages that contained biblical history or allusions to some parables in the bible. These include references to Cain the first murderer, Abel the first victim of murder, and the flood. The following quote describes Cain’s evil lineage with an example from the bible. Grendel was the name of this grim demon

haunting the marches, marauding round the heath
and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time
in misery among the banished monsters,
Cain's clan, whom the creator had outlawed
and condemned as outcasts. For the killing of Abel
the Eternal Lord had exacted a price:
Cain got no good from committing that murder
because the Almighty made him anathema
and out of the curse of his exile there sprang
ogres and elves and evil phantoms
and the giants too who strove with God
time and again until He gave them their reward. (102-114)
This quote illustrates why Grendel was evil. It describes him as being a descendant of Cain and banished from the grace of God In addition, there are passages containing expressions in disapproval of heathen worship. There is one of these in the introduction to the Danes near the beginning of the poem.

Sometimes at pagan shrines they vowed
offerings to idols, swore oaths
that the killer of souls might come to their aid
and save the people. That was their way,
their heathenish hope; deep in...
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