Beowulf : Christian Or Pagan Epic?

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Michael Smith
English 12
24 September 2015
Beowulf: Christian or Pagan Epic? Believe it or not, Thor was not just a fictional superhero that appeared in comics created by Marvel. Ultimately stemming from Proto-Indo-European religion, Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of Germanic mythology and paganism. Pagans, a member of a community observing a polytheistic religion, dominated Southern Europe society and literature until Christianity slowly drove out paganism around the 700s. Before Christianity spread throughout Europe, especially in early Germanic culture, paganism was the foremost means of transcribing values, and past events. Written down in approximately 1,500 A.D. by an unknown author, Beowulf was originally a pagan fable that became a Christian allegory upon its transcription by Christian monks. However, as scholars have debated over the religious context in Beowulf, the attempts by the monks to turn the epic poem into a Christian parable ended merged, including both pagan and Christian aspects. The epic poem Beowulf encompasses Christianity and paganism through the trust in God, wyrd, and the importance of one’s sword. Many elements of Christian philosophy are found throughout the story of Beowulf; man survives through the protection of God and all earthly gifts flow from God. Beowulf repeatedly acknowledges God as his protector. In his battle with Grendel’s mother, Beowulf recognized God’s presence multiple times,
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