Beowulf Religious Undertones

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Religious undertones are prevalent in the literary texts of times past. The writers of that time often penned those stories specifically to teach a moral lesson based on his or her religious beliefs. Beowulf is no exception to that. Though not all scholars believe Beowulf’s author to have been a Christian himself, it is undeniable that Christianity influenced the text. At one point in the epic, Cain, Eve’s son, is directly referenced. With deeper analysis, one can see parallels between the monsters in the story and Satan. It’s also possible to draw similarities between Beowulf and Christ, Himself. There are numerous other examples of Christian undertones scattered throughout the text, and all of them have a cumulative effect that influences the entire epic. Such influences include prompting the reader to approach Beowulf as if it were an allegory (that is, to treat all elements of the story as a potential symbol representing a Biblical idea), indirectly alluding to Biblical stories, and encouraging introspection on the reader’s part by illuminating potential negative traits they may have. One of the most obvious examples of Christian undertones in Beowulf occurs near the very start of the story. Lines 20-23 read: “Conceived by a pair of those monsters born/Of Cain, murderous creatures banished/By God, punished forever for the crime/Of Abel’s death.” Here the author makes an explicit reference to Cain’s banishment to draw a similarity between that story and Grendel’s

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