Christianity In Beowulf And Christianity

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Christianity arrived in Northern Europe over one thousand years ago. This is evidenced by some of the earliest pieces of literature that we have. The epic poem, “Beowulf”, shows many references to the influence of Christianity on English culture. There are many parallels between characters in “Beowulf” and characters from the Bible. Many Christian themes and virtues are also portrayed in “Beowulf”. Throughout “Beowulf”, the theme of Christianity manifests itself through Christ-like images of Beowulf as well as his strength in God allowing him to ward off monsters of paganism. Christianity is shown through Beowulf being like Christ in his sacrifice and deeds. Although Beowulf was not the Son of God, and Christ was not the most powerful warrior in the world, there are many similarities between the two. Both Beowulf and Christ give up their lives to save everyone: “Seeing him stretched on the ground … A torn and bloody corpse. But Beowulf’s Killer was dead, too,” (Line 2823\ Line 2825) This parallels Christ dying to save humanity from sin. The dragon is symbolic of the devil because in the same way that Christ defeats the Devil through his sacrifice, Beowulf defeats the dragon through his sacrifice. There are other symbolic parallels between Christ and Beowulf like the twelve apostles and the twelve mourning Geats: “And then twelve of the bravest Geats Rode their horses around the tower, Telling their sorrow, telling stories Of their dead king and his greatness…”(Line 3169\

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