Beowulf : Salvation Vs. Temptation Essay

Beowulf : Salvation Vs. Temptation Essay

Length: 1226 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Beowulf: Salvation vs. Temptation
Although proper credit cannot be given to an unknown author, the extraordinary poem, Beowulf, does give proper credit to the typical binary hero system. Beowulf illustrates an impossibly perfect hero, Beowulf, with only the best of intentions who takes on not only the destructive Grendel, but Grendel’s vengeful mother as well only to end in his own impressive demise. Two thematic elements are discussed in Beowulf: that it is altogether improper to fall to the temptation of the devil and that one can survive solely under the protection of God who sends all earthly gifts and blessings. Along with the ever-present sense of salvation bestowed within Beowulf’s pride comes a direct conflict with Christian values that are represented through the demonic Grendel. Therefore, the reader is challenged to explore the dichotomies of salvation versus temptation in the underlying religious concepts of Beowulf.
The Christian religion is based on the foundation that believing wholeheartedly in God will provide one with protection and vice versa that falling to the temptation of the devil will alter one’s pure religious intentions. In Beowulf, Grendel represents the evil or temptation which Christian religion references. Grendel is an ancestor of Cain:
This grim spirit was called Grendel,
…………………………………….
after the Creator had condemned him
among Cain’s race—when he killed Abel
the eternal Lord avenged that death. (Beowulf 103, 106-108)
From birth, Grendel is exiled as a repercussion for the sin Cain committed and therefore is brought up in a malicious atmosphere. Little opportunity for exposure to good provides Grendel, “a fiend from hell” (101), with the motive for evil. Not only is Grendel seen as evil f...


... middle of paper ...


...eir faith has been reestablished and strengthened through Beowulf, a disciple of the Lord, for not an eyelash is blinked in the direction of temptation while Beowulf diminishes yet another form of attack on the religious ways of the Danes, Grendel’s mother.
Beowulf incorporates underlying tones of religion through the expression of characters: Grendel as temptation and Beowulf as salvation. The epic battles between hero and monster place a face on the constant conflict of the conscience between good and evil. The controversial thematic elements of Beowulf, including that it is altogether improper to fall to the temptation of the devil and that one can survive solely under the protection of God who sends all earthly gifts and blessings, place an expectation on the reader to devour the thought of salvation versus temptation in such a religious work of literature.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Temptation and Sins of Comission Essays

- Several topics in this class have reminded me of what it means to be a Christian and how to be a Christian. The two topics I will discuss in the Reflection paper are Temptation and Sins of Commission. Temptation often leads to sin which can include sins of commission. Part One -Temptation a. Theological Definition Temptation is something experienced by a person with thoughts or desires which are contrary to how God desires man to act. When a person acts on these thoughts sin is committed. A person can be tempted by thoughts of money, lust and greed....   [tags: christian, temptation, sin]

Strong Essays
552 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about `` Salvation `` : Is There Hope For This Deplorable And Immoral World?

- Salvation Is there hope for this deplorable and immoral world. Is there something or someone that can purify what was once a beautiful and harmonious garden, but now a world riddled with sin. Without divine intervention providing a secure rescue, this world and all of its inhabitants will continue to morally and physically decline and decay. This world is filled with people that think that they and the occasional good fortune from lady luck is to be credited for one’s own personal destiny. This prideful assumption is dangerously untrue....   [tags: New Testament, Christian terms, Salvation, Jesus]

Strong Essays
2345 words (6.7 pages)

Essay about Salvation in Literature

- Salvation in Literature The contrasting views of salvation throughout Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature serves as a reflection of each era’s understanding of God’s relationship with man. The Anglo-Saxon idea of salvation is rooted in its understanding of the earthly, physical aspects of this world. God’s relationship to man is seen in relation to a liege lord’s relationship with his hall’s thanes, as described in the Beowulf text. The hero, Beowulf, is an Anglo-Saxon depiction of a “saved” man....   [tags: Salvation Anglo-Saxon Middle English Essays]

Strong Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- The oldest English epic, Beowulf, although composed twelve centuries ago, uses many of the same ideals and values that exist in modern life and modern literature. These attributes are still important, but they do not occupy every aspect of life as in Anglo- Saxon England. Some of the ideals have little use today, such as fate, while other virtues, such as loyalty, are encouraged and highly respected traits. Other values, like fame, have taken on bad connotations in modern day and are not esteemed as they once were....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)

Essay Temptation

- Temptation Tonight, let us think through the M.O. of Temptation. I believe we are made in the image of the triune God. We have a soul, a body and a spirit: a triune nature. When we are tempted, it will either be in the area of the soul, the body or the spirit. It is important that we understand this concept if we want to know how to overcome temptation. The world will primarily tempt us in the area of our soul. The word for soul is psyche, which we use to describe an individual's mind, will, and emotions....   [tags: Tempting Religion Soul Religious Essays]

Strong Essays
1806 words (5.2 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- Beowulf Beowulf was written during the Anglo-Saxon time period. Beowulf is a story about a young warrior and his quest through life. Some people consider Beowulf a tragic hero, and some people just consider him a hero period. Whether Beowulf is a tragic hero or not, he fights many great battles. The reason Beowulf fights stays basically the same but it changes a little. In the beginning of the book, Beowulf goes to help the Danes out by killing Grendel. Grendel is a ferocious monster that has been killing the Danes in the mead hall (115)....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- Beowulf, the Hero       	The epic poem Beowulf, which was told from generation to generation honoring modern Anglo-Saxon beliefs, describes a heroic man who saves a village in their time of need. By definition a hero is a man of exceptional quality. Exceptional quality doesn’t even begin to describe the man that is Beowulf. Beowulf has many heroic characteristics from his super human strength to victoriously slaying monsters and other ferocious beasts. He has excellent leadership skills and commonly boasts of his achievements....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- He killed three monsters and then he died. Not a very interesting fate, but it is none the less one that I find myself having to write about regardless of whether or not I want to. Thus it was, the mighty Beowulf of old England that went forth to slay the evils which plagued the lands of his own people as well as those of his neighboring tribes. The second battle was one that was brought about by Beowulf’s willingness to go and help an old friend, and thus he nearly lost his life once more....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- Beowulf is a well-known Anglo-Saxon poem that has been in English classes around the United States for almost as long as there have been schools around. Beowulf is not an actual picture of historic Denmark, Geatland, or Sweden around 500 A.D., yet it is on a general view, a self-consistent picture, a construction bearing clearly the marks of design and thought. Beowulf to us can only truly be enjoyed if one reads it in the old English version. The effects of the poem are not the same, although the sense of the heroic beast is very true....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
1412 words (4 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- The epic poem, Beowulf, depicts the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, was an outstanding warrior with all the extraordinary values required by a hero. He was able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encountered terrifying monsters and the most ferocious of beasts, but he never feared the threat of death. His leadership skills were excellent and he was able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf was the ultimate epic hero who risked his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)