Beowulf and The Intent of Christians to Convert Pagans Into Christianity

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Before England was the superpower it is known to be today, it was a small country inhabited by many groups of people over time. First to England came the Celts, then the Romans, and then the Anglo Saxons. The Anglo Saxon’s traveled to England from the northern countries of Germany Norway and Sweden. When they arrived, they brought their gods with them. The Anglo Saxon’s religion consisted of multiple gods and goddesses and their own view of Heaven and what it would be like. The Anglo Saxon’s also loved poetry, and they used it to keep track of the history of their people. Beowulf is an epic poem that was past down by the Anglo Saxons from generation to generation. The poem is infused with multiple elements of their pagan religion.…show more content…
The characters in Beowulf, as Streissguth says, are enveloped in a completely pagan atmosphere. Their belief system follows mythology much more closely than Christianity. By making the characters praise the Christian one true God and making multiple references to Him and to the Biblical view of Heaven, the Roman Catholic’s of the time period hoped to, as with relating Grendel to the Biblical Cain, convert the pagans to Christianity. Finally, Beowulf is portrayed as Jesus Christ from the Christian Bible multiple times throughout the poem. There are exact instances in Beowulf that parallel almost precisely with stories of Jesus Christ in the Christian Bible. Beowulf says, “Light glowed out and illuminated the chamber / with a clearness such as the candle of heaven / sheds in the sky (1569-1571). This parallels well with the scripture from the Holy Bible “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’” (The MacArthur Study Bible, Matthew 17.5). Another example is at the end of the Epic poem when Beowulf is giving his life to fight the dragon for his kingdom, and his men abandon him in his time of need. The text states: It was not long then till they budged from the wood, the battle-shirkers, ten of them together, those traitors and weaklings who had not dared deploy their

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