Judith – Old English and Vulgate Versions
Upon looking closely at the Old English and Vulgate versions of Judith, one can catch a glimpse of how culture was during the time they were written by comparing and contrasting the elements of the story that are presented and modified. The distinct differences that can be found between the Old English and the vulgate versions of Judith provide a clear view of what the Anglo-Saxons considered to be important, and what they felt required respect. When comparing and contrasting these two versions, one can utilize other Old English works such as Beowulf and The Wanderer to clearly spot the differences and similarities to receive some insight into the culture and feelings of the Anglo-Saxons. One of the similarities that is shared between both readings of Judith, Beowulf and the Wanderer is an inherent need to praise God and give Him the glory for all of their actions and accomplishments. Right from the start this idea is seen in the Old English version of Judith whenever it is said, “That God the Creator might free her from fear” thereby showing the instant need that the Anglo-Saxons felt for a God who would protect them and help them in their endeavors (Judith 4). Judith being freed from her fear is mirrored by Beowulf’s confidence in the Lord whenever he proclaims, “wise God, will allot glory, as seems fitting to Him” showing that he has complete trust in who God will choose to win in his gristly battle with the demon Grendel (Beowulf 686-687). The amount of faith that the Anglo-Saxons had in God was very great that he would protect them in battle and all of their endeavors. This sentiment is reflected in the apocryphal version of Judith with her being described as, “a holy woman, and one fearing of God” (Book of Judith 8:29). The respect and deference shown by Judith in both the apocryphal version of the story and the Old English version show a similar respect for God and a tendency to praise him. This tendency to...
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