Religous Impacts on Anglo-Saxon Works of Literature (Beowulf)

Topics: Beowulf, Religion, God Pages: 2 (537 words) Published: April 19, 2013
Religious Impacts on Anglo-Saxon Works of Literature (“Beowulf”) By Armani Wilson
In the early days of human society, the Anglo-Saxons allowed their religious views to meander its way into and conquer their lives. Their religious perspective greatly impacted many of the plots, themes and tones of many stories, poems, etc. Religious ideals, elements and dynamics are demonstrated throughout the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel.

The epic poem, Beowulf shows a tremendous presence of religious influence. For example, when the narrator says “…Conceived by a pair of those monsters born/ of Cain, murderous creatures banished/ By God,”(20-23), this is interpreted as God had taken it upon himself to protect the masses of the early Anglo-Saxon society, and it also demonstrates how the people gave this religious ideal to help explain their mythology among other things. This also explains the influence of the religious dynamic because the unknown author of the epic poem gave the biblical reference to Cain, the first-born child of Adam and Eve that committed a terrible act in the eyes of the lord (murder), simply because his sacrifice to the lord was rejected in contrast to his brother Abel’s. This caused a somewhat metamorphosis towards the influence of literature to represent anything with a negative connotation with having the potential to be evil, in this case the subject of the negative connotation is Grendel. Also, in Beowulf, there is the instance in which the narrator says “In Herot, when night hid him, he never/ Dared to touch the king Hrothgar’s glorious/ Throne, protected by God-God,” (82-84). Grendel doesn’t attack or negatively act upon Hrothgar directly because he fears that Hrothgar is protected by a god or gods. The presence of religion here is that society has collected this thought that There are those people in society that have been chosen by a higher power to be destined to be protected and to have a life of prosperity, This...
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