Beowulf Literary Analysis

Topics: Paganism, Christianization, Deity Pages: 4 (1374 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Beowulf Literary Analysis
Looking through the phenomenal piece of writing that is Beowulf, and analysing the characters and events, there is quite a bit of information and evidence that points and leads that religion plays a large role in the entirety of the story. The story roots into the past where the religion that the Saxons had followed under was mainly pagan, before the Saxons had been converted to Christianity. Inside the story, there were parts in which there were mild hints that led more towards the religion based around witchcraft and the blessing and worshipping of the earth, but along with those, the Christianity had mingled in as well. A large quantity of what was written, however, led to believe that this story was about Pagans, and yet told, read, and written by Christians nonetheless. Different quotes, different plot lines in the midst of the story, and imagery that is shown steeps into the world that is Paganism at it’s finest in those times of lore. Though the blend of the two religions throughout the entire poem is unmistakable and fairly easy to spot out, Paganism stands and rears it’s head at every turn in the story that so many have come to read and enjoy in today’s times.

Although there are many references in the poem that lead Beowulf to point out the Paganism that is mentioned through each sequence of events, there is so much more to take from the imagery around the characters as they travel on. “Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark,

nursed a hard grievance. It harrowed him
to hear the din of the loud banquet
every day in the hall, the harp being struck
and the clear song of a skilled poet
telling with mastery of man's beginnings,
how the Almighty had made the earth
a gleaming plain girdled with waters;
in His splendour He set the sun and the moon
to be earth's lamplight, lanterns for men,
and filled the broad lap of the world
with branches and leaves; and quickened life
in every other thing that...
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