Occurrences of Christianity and Paganism in the Poem Beowolf

Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: November 29, 2005
There are many occurrences of Christian and Pagan ideals in the poem Beowulf. They play a key part in showing the morality and meaning of this poem by the poets of the time. They help us get a sense of the religion of the time and grasp the concepts throughout Beowulf. The importance of these elements affect the main characters and their action.

Christian and pagan elements occur throughout Beowulf. These elements have been combined in the poem and help describe the warrior, Beowulf, and the evil Grendel's mother (Morse 2). We see Christian and pagan ideals in Grendel's mother's attack. They are the motivation for this attack. The reader is introduced to Grendel's mother through her family.

"From [Cain] sprang many a devil sent by fate" (Morse, 1).This quotation helps us see the use of Christian and pagan elements. This line from the Bible helps explain Grendel's mother and we get a sense of her evil. The Christian God has given man free will; therefore what will happen to man is not controlled by fate, but it is controlled by God (Morse 4). We understand the Christian and pagan elements that exist in Beowulf, by understanding why the author has used these ideas (Wilson, 200). We see how they affect the plot of the poem. They are linked to two major events in the poem. These are Grendel's mother revenge and Aeschere's death.

The Christian and pagan ideals of Beowulf shows us the time in which it was written. It was "a period in which the virtues of the heathen 'Heroic Age' were tempered by the gentleness of the new belief; an age warlike, yet Christian (Morse 3). As a good Christian, the poet found himself faced with the task of treating this originally pagan material in a manner acceptable to a Christian audience" (Wilson,183) People of this time were punished greatly for their choice of religion. In Beowulf, Hrothgar and his Danes were punished for their beliefs.

The poets combine the pagan idea of Ragnarok to show that Beowulf is fighting...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Beowulf Christianity vs. Paganism Essay
  • Beowolf Essay
  • Christianity & Paganism in Beowulf Essay
  • Paganism and Christianity in Beowulf Essay
  • Beowulf (Christianity vs. Paganism) Essay
  • Essay about Religion in Beowulf: Exploring Christianity and Paganism in the Anglo-Saxon Society
  • Paganism vs. Christianity Essay
  • Essay about Beowolf Questions

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free