Christian Principles in Beowulf

Topics: Beowulf, God, Novel Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: October 27, 2005
Christian Principles in Beowulf
In the epic novel Beowulf, the Christian monk who narrates the story has bias because the characters in the story are not Christian. The monk slips in his own religious beliefs throughout the novel. He also gives his opinion in certain passages about the how pointless he believes war is. The story originally had Pagan Saxon roots, but by the time that it was written down, almost all Anglo-Saxons had converted to Christianity. The Christian monk is motivated to put forth his own beliefs through the characters in Beowulf¸ Beowulf, Grendel, Hrothgar, and Wiglaf.

Beowulf does not live a good life according to Christian standards. He works for treasures and believes that preservation of earthly glory after death is more important than ascending to Heaven. However, some of his values relate to Christian views. These include the devotion to his people and his willingness to defend him.

Early on in the novel, the narrator tells the audience about how the Lord created the Earth,
How the Almighty had made the earth
A gleaming plain girdled with waters;
In His splendor He set the sun and the moon
To be earth's lamplight, lanterns for men… (page 9, line 92) He uses these lines when he is describing the painful sounds that Grendel hears which make him jealous. This section of the page is unnecessary because the monk could have described the noises coming from the mead hall much differently.

Beowulf fights off nine sea monsters during his suffering in Breca. When the Christian monk describes this ordeal, he makes it seem as if God is assisting him because Beowulf says "Fate let me find its heart with my sword," which is exactly what Beowulf does. When he washes ashore on the Finnish coast, it is described like God is waking up Beowulf peacefully and reassuringly.

Light came from the East,
Bright guarantee of God, and the waves
Went quiet' I could see headlands
And buffeted cliffs. Often, for undaunted courage,
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