Christian vs. Paganism

Topics: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Paganism Pages: 3 (1331 words) Published: December 13, 2012
Christian vs. Paganism
With my thesis I am going to prove that the epic poem Beowulf is a Christian based poem. I feel that the unknown author was a Christian based on how he wrote the poem. He had same paganism things in the poem, but many people at the time believed in many gods, so he/she may have put those things in there to get more people to understand and to read the poem.

Written in the 8th century when society was in the process of converting from Paganism to Christianity, the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is believed to be the lone survivor of a genre of Old English long epics. Although the author of Beowulf is unknown, it is now widely believed that Beowulf is the work of a single poet who was a Christian and that his poem reflects well-established Christian tradition. Some scholars also believed that epic was originally written as pagan folklore but it eventually was expanded to include Christian elements. In the final battle between Beowulf and the dragon, as well as throughout the entire epic, there are various parallels between pagan beliefs, drawing on pagan epic tradition for kings, heroes, and monsters while drawing on new Christian beliefs to present these characters as noble, in possession of the natural knowledge of God, willing to battle his enemies on earth, and therefore capable of redemption. Now I am old but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning. Beowulf is the ideal hero – strong, courageous, honorable, and chivalrous. He vows to protect his people for his own glory and status in society. He is also blessed with superhuman strength, another pagan characteristic. Although old in age and wounded from the dragon’s fire and fangs, Beowulf is able to destroy the dragon with one final blow. He tucks it deep in the dragon’s flank. Beowulf dealt it a deadly wound. Beowulf wanting a memorial mound for his people for him to remember him by is another pagan belief of immortality and carrying what is in one’s...
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