Christian Elements In Beowulf By Burton Raffel

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Some may find it profound to relate something so significant such as the Bible to an old English poem, however, in Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, many of the characters and scenarios described in the poem are similar to many Christian elements and stories told in the Bible. Grendel’s home, Herot, Beowulf, Grendel, and Grendel’s lineage paint the perfect picture on how important components from before BC and during AD are outlined throughout the poem.

If you begin to read “The Monster Grendel” in Beowulf by Burton Raffel, it clearly explains Herot and its god-like setting when it says, “Loud in that hall, the harp’s rejoicing call the poet’s clear songs, sung of the ancient beginnings of us all, recalling The Almighty making the earth” (Raffel 21).
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It breifly states Grendel’s lineage when “The Monster Grendel” states, “he was spawned in that slime, conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by god, punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death” (Raffel 21). If you read the book of Genesis in the Bible you will read about Adam and Eve’s children Cain and Abel. Abel was always better than Cain and as time went by Cain got angry that he could never be as great as his brother. Cain does something of a sinful nature when the Genesis states, “Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (ESV, Gen. 4:8). This passage, along with Adam and Eve falling into temptation, is one of the cruelest verses since they were both some of the first sins of the world. Since Beowulf says that Grendel’s parents were “monsters born of Cain” they are meant to be signified as extremely atrocious in this
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