Paganism: An Analysis Of Religion In Beowulf

Decent Essays
At the time this poem was written Paganism was the prevailing religion in the land. Paganism is a polytheistic religion that focuses on many gods and goddess; it also includes many mythological beliefs and rituals. In the Middle ages it was a popular religious practice until the rise of Christianity. Christianity being the belief that derived from Jesus Christ and is based on biblical scripture; this religion is monotheistic, which means it solely focuses on one God. Beowulf was based in a paganistic time period, yet the narrator made various references to God in a singular sense, leaning towards the monotheistic part of Christianity. An analysis of religion in Beowulf reveal despite the strong ties in an era of paganism, christian virtues…show more content…
He knew what they had tholed, the long times and troubles they'd come through without a leader; so the Lord of Life, the glorious Almighty, made this man renowned.”

The narrator equates greatness with being aligned with on God. That means without the grace, or help from God one cannot achieve true success. The narrator makes references to how great God is, for example, he uses the phrase a “ a comfort sent by God” God has to place people where they are supposed to be and give them their purpose. If they are good and follow the plan laid out for them it will ultimately lead to success. To write something like that makes it seem like the narrator had some roots in Christianity.
Even more than attributing the prowess of a hero to God, the narrator makes reference to the famous story about Cain and Abel from the Old Testament. In Beowulf, the demon Grendel was a monster descended from Cain, the crop farmer that murder his brother because of jealousy.
“Grendel was the name of this grim demon haunting the marches, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens; he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters,
Cain's clan, whom the creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts. For the killing of
…show more content…
Even more, the narrator used the famous story about Cain and Abel from the Old Testament as an example about what happens when God feels slighted by someone or an sin is committed. Also, The narrator feels alot of pity for those people who followed paganism. He spoke about the followers of paganism as if they didn’t know any better than that. For that reason he showed the christian value of compassion towards them, which speaks to the views and values that the book is based
Get Access