Cain murders his brother, and God banishes Cain, and curses his entire family. An example of this in Beowulf is Hrunting, the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth. If we reevaluate the situation, Grendel may only be defending his territory from invaders. The expanse and safety of the mead-hall represent the power and wisdom of the king. Throughout the poem, the poet strains to accommodate these two sets of values. As adults get older they are less daring and wait for the battle to come to them.
Although they are all just as valid to the epic poem, the one that stands out the most would categorically be the substantial element of gold. Usually, authors accomplish this by having characters or objects in the story represent something else a political movement, a religious idea, or a specific moral. Though these two outlooks are somewhat oppositional, each character acts as society dictates he should given his particular role in society. Symbolism helps the reader understand more clearly… Christian symbolism in Beowulf within the poem Beowulf, the poet utilizes the Christian religion to symbolize the elements of good and evil and Heaven and Hell. Throughout Beowulf, these characteristics of paganism and Christianity transmute together. The typical youth is very brave and fights for fame. Of course, because Beowulf is an epic, the mundane dangers of the sea—getting swept overboard, getting lost, running out of food and water—are replaced by fantastic dangers, like sea monsters.
Even as King… Symbolism gives the reader a different outlook on what they are reading. The cave also represents their heritage. Therefore, the sword was god-forged and godly. There are various references within the poem to elements of the Christian religion. Beowulf our protagonist is symbolized as a hero, who represents the Anglo Saxons at the time. That is to say, what is good and what is evil? Beowulf shows this third trait when he brags to Hrothgar about how he swam all the way over and killed all the monsters in the ocean.
So I innocently decided to investigate this incongruity as the topic of this paper. Characters in the poem are unable to talk about their identity or even introduce themselves without referring to family lineage. Thus, we see the dichotomies of pride vs. By defeating him, Beowulf is defeating the concept of evil itself. The poem was handed down from the Anglo-Saxon period, and through the retelling of the poem, it changed a little each time. Roman churches form the South East started replacing Polytheism ideas with Christianity. I found sources that ran the gamut from the position that Beowulf was a quintessentially Germanic pagan work that had been corrupted by some revisionist monastic scribe Mooreman 1967 , to the assertion that the author intentionally created a Christian allegory along the lines of Book.
So i believe that with all the similarities that beowulf and the Christ story have that yes it would only make sense that Beowulf is an allegory for the Christ story. There are various references within the poem to elements of the Christian religion. By looking at it in this light, we can see several allegories of Christianity in Beowulf's adventures. Not what you're looking for? Overall, Drout provides a rich context in which to read Tolkien's work. The Banquet The great banquet at Heorot after the defeat of Grendel represents the restoration of order and harmony to the Danish people.
Wyrd is a Pagan concept referring to fate. Though he is Christian, he cannot and does not seem to want to deny the fundamental pagan values of the story. In the anonymous epic, Beowulf, Beowulf fights Grendel, the monsters of the ocean and Grendel's mother. The Presence of Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf Beowulf contains elements of both Christianity and Paganism. It's commonly accepted that Beowulf began as a pagan tale.
Drout, but we should be grateful for this fine substitute. Beowulf is the epic hero of the Anglo-Saxon poem, who endures fame and glory through intense battles with the troll-like monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and finally with a fire-breathing dragon, in which Beowulf loses his life. Beowulf was said to be an allegory to the Christ story because it has so many Christian elements in it. In Heorot, Hrothgar celebrates his victories and rewards his thanes warriors with various treasures. However, it was set in Scandinavia, and the story takes place around the 6th century.
Previous critics disregarded the monsters, Grendel and his mother and the dragon, because they teach little about history, pagan Teutonic culture, or Nordic religion. Beowulf is the oldest known English epic poem. More information: If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal:. Grendel's Claw and Head Beowulf had hoped to have an entire Grendel body to present to King Hrothgar after his battle with the ogre in Heorot. Over time, it was altered to include undertones of Christianity. Why not just come out and say Beowulf is Christ, Grendel is Cain, and the dragon is Satan? Christians also hang the cross as a sign of victory against death, showing that death could not beat Jesus. That could be symbolic for Jesus coming down to earth, as cruel and terrible as it may be, to fight for all of our sins.
However wide the dichotomy of values may be, appears to have achieved the difficult balance between pride and humility. When Beowulf fights Grendel he displays his superhuman strength by being able to rip Grendel's arm off. Years later Beowulf takes on a monstrous dragon, a creature of pagan mythology. We Will Discuss Beowulf as an Allegory for Salvation Salvation means being saved from certain death. Beowulf is the oldest known English epic poem. As a rebuttal to this point, it might… 1310 Words 6 Pages It is common opinion that Beowulf was written by a Christian poet. The previous critics of Beowulf, Tolkien taught us, didn't treat the poem as a poem.
In Beowulf, we not only get an awesome story about a warrior fighting monsters and saving the day, we can interpret it as a discussion on Christianity. Essays are written for different purposes and for different occasions. Although the poem was written after the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, Pagan traditions were still present in their culture. A connection, however vague, can be made between the maternal relations of Eve and Cain and Grendel and his mother. Grendel's Mother Grendel's mother, often portrayed as a monster with features that could be seen as pretty and feminine, is an allegory for the original sin, when Eve first convinced Adam to betray God.