In eighth-century Anglo-Saxon society, an important transition occurred from the use paganism to the new traditions of Christianity. Beowulf is an epic poem in which the main character Beowulf has an internal conflict regarding two religions. To further understand why Beowulf has both Christian and pagan influences you must first understand the Anglo-Saxon culture. In the eighth century, Christianity was evolving into the orthodox religion for the people. However, aspects of pagan culture were still being observed, but to a lesser extent. This connection led to many works of the time being of both religions. Beowulf was written by an anonymous Christian monk; the ideals of the epic poem represents Christianity, paganism, and coexists as both faiths.
Beowulf is one of the oldest poems in history, it was originally written in Anglo-Saxon, and it was told orally with many literary devices so it could be remembered throughout generations. It shows what their society was based on back in the Anglo-Saxon era. Although throughout history the poem has been changed to fit our modern day society. For example, having different values and morals and how we look at religion has all changed. In the Beowulf poem and movie there are many similarities and differences in Religion, Characterization, and Morals it highlights the value and beliefs of each society.
Throughout the ancient society of Anglo-Saxons, the pagan beliefs commonly caused people to do things for their own personal gain of fame. On the other hand, Christianity, which had just started to emerge in this society taught values of selflessness and respecting God. Although the story Beowulf was written down by Christian monks, pagan beliefs are prevalent throughout the epic. Beowulf is a character who acts on many values promised by paganism that make up the who he is.
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic that was transmitted verbally for hundreds of years before it was written down. Around the time of its composition, Christianity was beginning to gain prominence in England and was quickly replacing the animistic religion of the Celts. As a result of the dueling religions of the time, the poem includes influences from both Christianity and paganism, leaving its readers to wonder which religion had the most sway over the poet. Beowulf is a fundamentally more Christian epic on account of Beowulf’s resemblances of Jesus Christ, its allusions to the Bible, and its intimation of a supreme, monotheistic religion.
Anglo Saxon’s history is well known for their loyalty, courage and bravery. Beowulf our protagonist is symbolized as a hero, who represents the Anglo Saxons at the time. Beowulf earns his fame and respect through battling creatures nobody else would want to face. These creatures symbolize the evil that lurks beyond the dark. Beowulf’s intense battle with these creatures’ symbolizes the epic battle of good versus evil. In the end good triumphs over evil but one cannot avoid death. Beowulf’s death can be symbolized as the death of the Anglo Saxons. Beowulf’s battle through the poem reflects the kind of culture that the Anglo Saxons had. The youth of a warrior to his maturity then the last fight which results in death. Beowulf wanted to be
The story of Beowulf deals with life, death, violence, kings, and monsters. Written around 800 CE, and then picked up hundreds of years later to be rewritten by a monk, it is written well after the coming of Christ. It could be simply read as an action adventure, filled with conquests and elaborate feasts, as were common of Old English tales. The story is not that simple though, and gives us a peek into a culture going through some drastic changes. Once built upon a Pagan belief system void of Christ and saturated with values such as revenge and violence, the Anglo-Saxons did not immediately adopt all of Christianity. There was a lengthy time in which both sets of beliefs were muddled and weaved together haphazardly, where no one religion was distinct. Beowulf is an example of these cultural influences crashing together. While Christianity in Beowulf, the Old English epic poem, looks different than the Christianity we recognize today, the story is built with Christian values.
The primary objective of historians is to determine the culture of civilizations in the past. Historians use literature, artifacts, and folktales to grasp an understanding of a specific culture. The epic poem, Beowulf is the first piece of literature known to the English language. Unlike the hundreds of other English literature, Beowulf gives readers an insight into the culture of Anglo-Saxons in southern Sweden between the time period of 449-1066 AD. Beowulf contributes to the understanding of the Anglo-Saxon culture by including information about power, religion, and reward.
In the story of Beowulf, there is a noticeable struggle between Christianity and Paganism, and the characters personal battle between the two. Throughout the story the characters display actions that lead towards Paganism and Christianity. Contrary to Pagan belief Beowulf is seen as the epitome of good and beneficent to all of mankind. In Beowulf, the people showed their faith and love in God, however due to horrific events, paranoia caused them to look for a quick fix and turns them to Paganism.
Beowulf is one of the most important pieces of English literature. The epic poem is said to be a great representation of the Anglo-Saxon era. Written by an anonymous monk between 800 and 1000 A.D., Beowulf displays Anglo-Saxon practices, beliefs, values, and religion. Beowulf is not only a fascinating story, but also a primary source for the time period. Serving as a primary source document, scholars can have a deep understanding of the Anglo-Saxon culture. They can learn about the Old English language, their customs and beliefs, and what they valued. This is why Beowulf is one of the most important pieces of English literature.
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.
Pagan ideas and values were a large influence in the creation of Beowulf due to the period it was created in. As the narrative was passed down by mouth Christianity views were slowly developed into the story. The poem was written after Anglo-Saxons were Christianized, but it is evident that pagan views were still in their mindsets. With these ideals still present, paganism and Christianity were woven into the story, and we see a mix of heroic ideals and self-sacrificing virtues that create a story filled with religious influence. Fame, fate, and revenge are concepts tied with paganism that are shown throughout Beowulf alongside Christian values of loyalty, humility, sacrifice, and the negative consequences of greed and pride. No matter how
Beowulf is written by an unknown author but is suspected to have been written by a Christian monk around 700-1000 A.D. This poem is known as the mother poem of England and one of the most influential works. All throughout the poem, we are introduced to the religions Christianity and paganism. Paganism is a “dark mystical religion from dark ages and is polytheistic religion and worship more than one god in the wilderness and they make idols out of wood or stone that they pray to.” Christianity is the “Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.” Christianity and paganism contradict each other many times during the poem and they both work together to show how Beowulf reacts with both fate and God at his side. The unknown author does a remarkable job at combining the two to show how other characters also react to both. Although never precisely told which religion Beowulf is, the unknown author shows the mix of Beowulf's religion is paganism, Christianity, and is even able to combine and show the cross of the two and how it affects him.
In the story Beowulf, there are a few different religions that are represented by the author. All the religions are portrayed in the story through the author’s eyes and his beliefs. The author makes clear what religion he believes in and his views. Some instances in the story also relate to the conflict between Christianity and the code of warriors. Throughout the story, the author is faced with the challenge of trying to portray his beliefs with a character whose actions are in conflict with his beliefs. Beowulf, in this story is based on the total opposite of the author’s beliefs and there are instances when his behavior is shown, and after there is symbolism of Christianity, to show its conflict with his behavior.
Every culture has its own set of values, beliefs, and customs. These values, beliefs and customs create each unique culture, and these cultural constructions are directly and indirectly acquired throughout the lifetime of the culture. A major part of culture is literature; the literature of the time reflects upon daily life and society during the time that the story was composed. Beowulf, an epic poem, is one of the most important and only works of Anglo-Saxon literature. Much like a fable, the epic poem of Beowulf had lessons that taught the people within this society how to behave. This essay will outline how the importance of Christianity and the Germanic Heroic Code in Beowulf are revealed throughout the epic poem as important aspects of the Anglo-Saxon culture as a whole.
The epic poem Beowulf, was written sometime in the eighth century by an unknown author. It was based on legend passed down over time. Prior to the time the poem was written, Anglo Saxons had converted from Germanic Paganism to Christianity. Some people argue that it was a Pagan poem rewritten by a person or persons educated in Christianity. “ has come down from heathen times and acquired its Christian character gradually and piecemeal from a succession of minstrels.” ( Hector Monro Chadwick as quoted by Brodeur 182), while others believed that Christianity and Paganism both belonged in the poem. “almost without exception so deeply ingrained in the very fabric of the poem that they cannot be explained away as the work of a reviser or