Books and Movies Reviews

Christianity And Pagansim In Beowulf

The epic poem Beowulf, written in the Eighth Century, is predominantly written based on pagan beliefs.It is evident, as the story traveled by word of mouth, many Christian beliefs were added.Christianity, at the time this epic was written, was on a steady incline. Many missionaries were traveling all over England preaching the word and leaving their mark.Beowulf can be analyzed for both its pagan motifs- fate, superhuman behavior, reparation, and many gods- as well as its Christian overtones- Christian characterizations, Adam and Eve, and Resemblances to Jesus.
The pagan motifs symbolize and represent the culture of the Anglo-Saxon people.Much like the writings of today, the Anglo-Saxon people tell stories of what they know and believe.Knowing this, one must agree Beowulf is a direct reflection of the Anglo-Saxon society.Fate is a key pagan concept mentioned many times throughout the epic poem.In a pagan society, fate determines all.Living short lives, the pagan people believe in destiny and everything happening for a reason.As one can see, even in battle'"…fate decides/ Which of us wins"' (677-678).This line shows Beowulf believes fate is the higher power, and fate alone will decide the outcome of the battle.This view is very typical of the Anglo-Saxon people because they believe what happens is meant to be.Throughout the poem, Beowulf shows many superhuman or "god-like" qualities.These "god-like" qualities or superhuman personifications show that the people of that era believe in powers greater than the ordinary man, such as magic.The reader sees many examples of magic or blessed items such as swords and monsters, showing that the pagan people are very sacrificial and superstitious.They believe in order to defeat beasts blessed by evil, one must have weapons blessed by all that is good.This is an understandable
concept, showing that the pagans in the po…


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