Beowulf: Critical Views On Christianity Essay

1185 words - 5 pages

One of the most remarkable epic poems ever composed was written during the Anglo-Saxon period. Written by an unknown author, Beowulf is an exciting piece of literature containing many Christian religious ties and heroic virtues. One repeating technique used in Beowulf is mythical archetypal. In Beowulf, this is where references and themes of former Biblical characters and battles were used. Both good and evil were given comparisons to Biblical characters such as Cain, David, and Goliath. During the Anglo-Saxon period, between 449-1066, Christianity first arose. By the year 650, most all of England was appeared to be Christian. Beowulf is shown as a great hero who saved the Danes with his superhuman powers given from God. Beowulf is a blend of Christian traditions, with virtues including loyalty, courage, and faith inscribed within the epic poem. Beowulf is portrayed as a very loyal character in this poem. He shows his complete loyalty towards the Danes, and his willingness to fight for what his beliefs are. He fights to protect the Danes from Grendel, Grendel's mother, and Firedragon. Beowulf sides with the protagonists to fight evil monsters causing harm towards other men (Wain 137). Although Beowulf is a Geat, not a Dane, he still shows his loyalty to help good prevail over evil. Showing his belief to help the Danes in their time of need, Beowulf risks his life to protect them. Beowulf's loyalty is more towards the protection of all humanity, not just the Danes. When news reaches Beowulf of Grendel's terrorism, he didn't hesitate to rush and help the Danes. Beowulf's courage is shown through his willingness and bravery to fight against bigger adversaries such as Grendel and Grendel's mother (Wain 145). He doesn't back down from any opponent, and believes he will always win with God on his side. Beowulf isn't scared of anybody, even creatures such as Grendel and his mother who have extraordinary powers. In fact, he welcomes the challenge to bout these monsters. Eventually, Beowulf will get his chance to show what he is made of. Gleaming with confidence, Beowulf believes he is the world's strongest individual. Other than the antagonists, all characters in Beowulf have faith in God through Christianity. For example, the line in Beowulf "he never Dared to touch King Hrothgar's glorious Throne, protected by God," shows the Danes belief that Grendel can't interlude with Hrothgar's power. Protected by God, his throne is kept safe from all outside evil forces. In addition, faith is shown by Beowulf himself when battling Grendel's mother (Roberts 64). In the epic poem, Beowulf was knocked off his feet and laying on the ground, but then "Holy God, who sent him victory, gave judgement." This shows Beowulf's belief that God gave him the added strength and courage needed to continue to fight. As a result of faith in God, Beowulf was also given the opportunity to obtain the sword hanging on the wall, which would eventually be used to...

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