Suffice it to say that the resulting Beowulf is like a pagan story wrapped in Christianity. Beowulf, a story dating to these pre-Christian times, was recorded by an unidentified author who likewise placed the characters and events into a Christian context.
But he also teaches the lessons of Christian philosophy: Though all Germanic nations ultimately adopted Christian belief, pre-Christian ideas, characters, and themes persisted in art and storytelling. The good warrior, "the great-hearted kinsman of Hygelac had him by the hand" Aristotle and Augustine There is a dichotomy of values in Beowulf: Beowulf is a mix of two ideals: From this quotation alone we can see the fusion of Christian and pagan elements.
Once again there is a contrast between the pagan and Christian cultures, as the same "giants" are referred to with honor and contempt in succeeding paragraphs.
Thus, a good king is willing to share his earthly possessions; he is one who "recklessly gives precious gifts, not fearfully guard them" 5. Because of its complicated origin, Beowulf has elements of both pagan Germanic culture and Christianity. These motivations and rewards are in contrast to the pre-Christian ideas of fame and fortune, making Beowulf an interesting story in which the legend of a heathen warrior fighting for heathen purposes is placed in a decidedly Christian context with Christian motivations.
Further exemplified by the powerfully stated "most often He has guided the man without friends" 1. It was also a period in which people such as "Hrothgar and his Danes Hrothgar tells Beowulf of a selfish king: In addition to earthly protection, there is also the sense that all earthly good, be it success or wealth, derives from God.
As a good Christian, the poet found himself faced with the task of treating this origanally pagan material in a manner acceptable to a Christian audience" Brodeur, Brodeur Yet it is that very pride and boastfullness that help make Beowulf a heroic warrior capable of achieving the greatest of deeds.
And later in the passage, Hrothgar tells Beowulf that even the status of king is achieved through the grace of God. While we will never know the fully heathen version of the tale, the Christian elements are easily identified. Beowulf boasts, "I promise you this: The Ruler made them a last payment through waters welling" 3.
There is a recurring tension between Christianity and native heathenry throughout the world of classic Germanic literature and legend. Any "delight" that a man enjoys here on earth is achieved only through the grace of God.
On a more thematic level, references to God and Christian qualities are woven throughout the text.
It is not until well into the medieval period that Christianity reaches full bloom and the quality of heroic arrogance falls into disrepute. Throughout the story Beowulf repeatedly acknowledges God as his protector.
But instead of taunting Unferth, Beowulf praises the sword: The story of Beowulf probably originated as an oral tradition sometime in the 7th century.
The credit is given to God: How often theme appears: However, there is also a strong sense of heroic pride within Beowulf which is at times in direct conflict with these Christian values. Augustine helped to turn man away from this earthly arrogance and the desire for material wealth and success.
But because of the time that poet makes Grendel into a Christian character. Grendel "was at war with God" To further understand the Christian and Christian pagan elements of beowulf elements that exist in Beowulf, we must first uncover why the author has merged Christian and pagan ideas.
As you read Beowulf, keep on the lookout for the ways that Christianity and paganism interact in the poem. But he does not take credit for this perception. Comitatus is an agreement of loyalty and protection that men have with their lord. Grendel is referred to as a descendant of Cain: 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.Pagan and Christian Elements in Beowulf The praised epic poem, Beowulf, is the first great heroic poem in English literature.
The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young, adult life and into his old age. The unknown poet of Beowulf wrote about the Geats and the Danes, Germanic tribes who lived in pre-Christian times on the continent.Â The plot of the story, therefore, has many references to pagan beliefs and superstitious customs.
On the other hand, a man who lived in Anglo-Saxon England composed the poem; therefore, there are examples in. Because of its complicated origin, Beowulf has elements of both pagan Germanic culture and Christianity.
The story of Beowulf probably originated as an oral tradition sometime in the 7th century. But the only surviving manuscript of Beowulf was written in the 11th century by Christian scribes, who either inserted the Christian overtones to the story.
The Beowulf Poet, despite including numerous references to Christian ideology, left in copious references to the pagan nature of Beowulf's culture and. Christian and pagan ideals are the motivation for vengeance in "Grendel's Mother's Attack." It is hard to ignore the Christian and pagan elements of Beowulf.
These elements, that have been so uniquely combined in the poem, define the heroic warrior, Beowulf, and the evil menace, Grendel's mother. Pagan beliefs in Beowulf Pagan vs. Christian Pagan examples are scattered all in the text of Beowulf. It is believed that the story Beowulf was told by mouth till a christian monk wrote it down changing some of the elements to more christian viewpoint.
Thats why theres a mix of pagan an christian in the text today. Full transcript.Download