The Life and Society of Beowulf

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In Beowulf, the importance of religion and pagan beliefs are extremely evident throughout the entire work. From the beginning it is deducted that there is a early Christian belief in the concept of heaven or at least in an afterlife. From the start of the epic, Beowulf regards his fate as one of a great warrior. This fate is to have as much honor as he possibly can, but all the while be prepared for death. This fate, as shown in Beowulf, is that of a great warrior and ruler. The quest for honor before death is perhaps the central goal for all true warriors. Beowulf's quest for this honor before death over all else that is gifted to him such as power, money, and longevity. Beowulf's glory before death is shown in his actions such as destroying Grendal, hunting Grendal's mother, and in elimination of the great dragon after being abandoned by his men. Although he realizes he is a great warrior, Beowulf is also very aware of his own mortality, and knows that if he continues to battle he will be killed. Even though he is aware of this mortality he obviously does not fear it. The lack of fear of fate and death is what makes Beowulf a truly great warrior. Beowulf confronts fate, he doesn't hide from it. Beowulf is ready to be an honorable warrior who dies protecting his people and honoring his king. Beowulf represents a great warrior because he is able to confront and accept his fate. Throughout Beowulf there is much evidence in the religious change from Paganism to Christianity. In Beowulf, the contrast between the pagan beliefs and the Christian belief in one god, is very interesting. In the Christian opinion, a monster is a once human that been deformed and mentally disturbed. However, the monsters in Beowulf, especially the Dragon, are much more attributed to pagan beliefs. The year that Beowulf's writing is attributed to is 900 A.D. By this time, Christianity was spreading all throughout Europe. It has been theorized that the combination of the Christian beliefs...
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