A Christian's Take On A Worldly Tale Is A Criticism Based On The Knowledge Of The Author And The Historical Background To The Book's Era.

968 words - 4 pages

A Christian's Take on a Worldly TaleBeowulf, a worldly folk tale, is surprisingly full of Christian values, traditions, and symbolic references. This book was written by a priest who loved history of all kinds, especially Anglo-Saxon. Of course, being a priest he naturally tied in his religious beliefs. The folk story emphasizes the virtues of loyalty, courage, and faith in the face of extreme dangers and even death. These teachings are compatible with Christian teachings. Self-sacrificing for the sake of others alludes to the Christian's Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and how He came to earth to suffer and die in order to save us from our sins. Similar moral values are evident throughout this book and the Christian's Bible.The first virtue I would like to bring out is the importance of loyalty in Beowulf. The greatest demonstration of loyalty in the story is when Wiglaf doesn't flee Beowulf's side in the face of the dragon. While the rest of Beowulf's companions, "crept to the wood, protected there. In only one of them the heart surged with sorrows... He was called Wiglaf" (57). Without Wiglaf Beowulf couldn't have defeated the dragon and would have most certainly died. There also seems to be a consistent minor theme of loyalty to king and country. I saw this especially when Beowulf returns home and first humbles himself before his ruler. There is a distinct attitude change in Beowulf when he speaks to his king, like when he says, "On your kindnesses all still depends" (51). This quote shows that Beowulf still gives all power and authority to the king, even though he probably could have taken both. He also remains loyal to his country by risking his life to protect and serve them in any way and by never killing or turning against his own kinsmen. He even loved them all enough to die for them. This same value is taught in the Bible where Christ, the King of all kings, gave His life for His people because of His love for them (the highest form of loyalty). Also, Christian teaching demands that one should 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind'--extreme loyalty to God is required.Courage is also praised and reflects some biblical qualities. Beowulf, our most courageous character, seems to not fear anything, except for, in a way, fate, which is controlled by "the Ruler", therefore God. This is of Christian tradition in that a believer is too not fear anything, except God, like Beowulf does. Courage is not only having no earthly fears, but also how a person or creature reacts when he, she, or it is in great peril. Does the person or creature flee like the skittish Thanes? Or does the person or creature stay and face the challenge, knowing that they could loose their life, like Beowulf?...

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