The Paradox In Beowulf

Decent Essays
What A Paradox!
In the translation of the poem Beowulf by Burton Raffel, the oppositional ideals especially regarding heroism in Christianity and the Anglo-Saxon culture creates a powerful distance between the two, increasing the prevention of Beowulf’s Christian audience from relating to Beowulf himself. Instances of Christian references in the translation are repetitively contradicted by the actions and motivations of Beowulf’s characters. The heroic values of the Anglo-Saxon culture are so much more conceited than those of Christianity. The Beowulf translator drives apart the two cultures by presenting Anglo-Saxon and Christian ideals that are paradoxical. The characters in both Beowulf and The Bible undergo similar moral tests and prove to hold contradictory morals, influences, and motivations through their words and actions. This opposition between the ideals of the two cultures weaken their relationship as well as the sense of familiarity to some of the Christian audience.
The differentiation of the values and actions of characters from both Beowulf and The Bible throughout the translation shown in the choices that the characters make demonstrate incomparable ethics. The Bible is filled, on most pages, of lessons revolving around selflessness and an emphasis on detachment from material goods, aspects that are found in almost every Christian hero. In the writings of The Bible, this value is strongly emphasized in writings that preach lessons such as:
“Do not store up
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