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, or were working from a manuscript set down by previous Christians who added the Christian elements. According to the narrative, Beowulf is an instrument of God, an instrument of righteousness called by God to perform His will for the Danes. The manuscript of the poem was seriously damaged in a fire; so several lines and words have been lost from the poem. He represents the pagan ideal of indestructibility and the Christian ideal of savior as hero. These two characters appear to represent the forces of good versus the forces of evil. Beowulf is a poem that has to be placed in a historical context for a better understanding. Many special swords were carved with runes for protection, blessings, and victory, as well as with prayers or invocations to the Norse gods.
He prepared as though he were preparing for death Norton, 2009. Although the pagan elements greatly influenced the story, the addition of Christian influences and parallels to the Bible make this European epic famous for the adventures, conflicts, and heroism that take place in a time of religious transition. These people were known as the new generation. Although the poet can't get away from the fact that his hero, Beowulf, would have been a pagan, he can suggest that Beowulf's trust in God translates easily into a Christian context. Many of the influences deal with what it going on in the world, when the piece is written. Today, one can still see the Pagan influences in common life.
This also shows that being unkind can never help you out in the long run. Though they both died in their final battle, they both prevailed over evil before they died. All-knowing God Must have sent you such words; nothing so wise From a warrior so young has ever reached These ancient ears. Declaring the antagonists in this poem as descendants of the race of Cain, the author demonstrates his point rather clearly that they are enemies of not only Beowulf, but the establishment of Christianity itself. The battle with Greened, then, is innately similar to the suffering of Jesus, also a prince; though when Beowulf conquers Greened, he receives great praise. He takes this confidence to the next level and uses it towards his advantage to kill Grendel. King Scyld is buried this way early on in the poem.
It depicts an ancient culture through a hero narrative and includes numerous mentions of pagan practices performed by the characters in the poem. Perhaps this transition is necessary for the acceptance of Christianity reader may notice a direct use of foreshadowing for the events to follow. No one knows, but what ever it was drove him to his death. He goes on and on about his multiple defeats in battle and how his country loves him for it. In his battlewith Grendel, Beowulf chooses non to utilize arms ; he relies on his ace strength.
Beowulf battles bear a strong resemblance to the crucifixion of Christ. There is evidence of this throughout Beowulf. The good qualities of loyalty, humility, sacrifice for the good of others, and sympathy for those less fortunate are seen woven into the text as well as the negative consequences from greed and pride. Even though many Pagan influences appear in the poem, Christian influences override them. The similarities between Beowulf and the story of Christ are striking.
Religion is often used to help one discover their ultimate purpose and give them guidelines to live a pure life by that may be amorphous without spiritual guidance. The poet transposes his Christian convictions onto a story which formed in a culture devoid of Christianity. Beowulf seems afraid of defeat and failure. While there are no actual references to Jesus Christ there are some references to god that don't seem to go along with the rest of the story. Jesus is called upon by the Almighty King God to give his life for the purpose of defeating evil. Jesus also taught the Beatitudes which states to be virtuous and generous - so a Christian story must also have those elements.
Just as Beowulf slightly compares to Christ, Grendel is like Satan. And for the first time in his life that famous prince fought with fate against him, with glory denied him. This undoubtedly shows the Christian influence in this poem. Drawing parallels between Grendel and Satan also displays Christianity. He is a member of the Geat tribe, a follower of Higylac, and the son of Edgtheo.
As such, it has continually influenced perceptions of paganism and Viking culture right up to today! He does this without the usage ofoxygen. In this epic poem, these two religions come through the actions of its characters. They each swam in icy waters for five days and five nights carrying swords to fight off the sea monsters. Because of its complicated origin, Beowulf has elements of both pagan Germanic culture and Christianity. It becomes difficult to apply this theme of Christian dominance to the Anglo-Saxon society as a whole, however, because the author of the tale, clearly Christian, caters to an audience with likely greater acceptance of Christianity than the characters in the time period the work represents. The Christian aspect is revealed through 68 passages in which the form of expression or the thought suggests Christian usage or doctrine Blackburn 3.
He was selfish and represents what most people would not want to be, but not many people would understand Grendel. Put together, this connection accentuates the transitional sentiment of such a religion. When Beowulf was written, St. For example, the thanes making offerings to Wayland the Smith, participating in drinking rituals, and the gift-giving of their kings are all examples of different types of ritualized offerings in paganism. In return, the leader rewarded his thanes with treasure, protection, and land.
Examples of Pagan and Christian traditions are presented all throughout literature. Many of the influences deal with what it going on in the world, when the piece is written. The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young, adult life and into his old age. They also believe in the existence of gods and goddesses that affect our daily lives. He realized that he could die but was willing to give his life in the quest for righteousness. I will meet him With my hands empty-unless his heart Fails him, seeing a soldier waiting Weaponless, unafraid. To embellish this theme, It Is necessary to acknowledge the unique dichotomy that exists In the epic tale between vastly different religious viewpoints.