The poem and Beowulf both show paganism and Christianity ideals and beliefs. In Beowulf there is fate, humility, fame, loyalty, and so much more that did not even get mentioned. Although the poem appears to be originally a pagan story, there are many clues in the text that point to Christian influence and traditions. In addition to Beowulf and his heroic deeds against Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon the author combines elements of Christian ideal and pagan ideal. The combination of Christian and pagan elements and references now shows Beowulf’s position in English history.
The Christians are monotheistic in beliefs, meaning that Christians believe in only one God. The Anglo-Saxons on the other followed paganism, meaning the Anglo-Saxon people believed in many gods. Having the main hero of a myth that originated in pagan culture make references to the god of another religion, that would be considered not only a crime of blasphemy in Christianity and showing disrespect the pagan’s gods and beliefs as well. The third, and probably the biggest, place we see evidence of Christianity in the story of Beowulf is the character of Beowulf and how similar he is to Jesus. Beowulf 's character is very much similar to that of Jesus ' in many ways.
King Lear is a Christian Play About a Pagan World It is evident that King Lear contains references to both the Christian and Pagan doctrine. However, they seem to be expressed in entirely different styles. King Lear is purposefully set in a pre Christian era with numerous references to classical Gods but conversely there appears to be a striking resonance of Christian theology throughout the play. These echoes appear in various forms including the idea of Edgar being a Christ-like figure and also the presence of a supposed divine justice. Therefore there is truth in the view that although King Lear has a pagan setting, its significance is ultimately relating to Christianity.
In many instances, however, the poem's pagan basis shines through. Among these idiosyncracies it is important to note funeral rites and the pagan practices that surround them. When missionaries first introduced the Christian ideology to the Anglo-Saxons, they left the people with a clear choice; Pagan deities could not coexist with the Christian God. Therefore, they must abandon these ancient icons in order to hold a more monotheistic view. Unfortunately, most of their culture is built around upholding a heroic code instead of a single deity.
The two major societies presented in Beowulf are the Danes and Geats and they are supposed to completely represent Christianity and just that, however; paganism was seeped into the epic poem purposely by the author. As they have to suffer under Grendel’s constant attacks, the Danes “turn to their heathen gods for help” and “at pagan shrines they vowed offerings to idols, swore oaths that the killer of souls might come to their aid” which are all things that Pagans would do (175-177). Because the author has Christian rulers but has them doing what Pagans would do in this same situation his goal in presented. This is exactly what Pagans do, they worship Gods and ask them for materialistic things such as winning wars and battles.
The similarities between Beowulf and the story of Christ are striking. All one would need to see the many parallels between the two would be a simple sign or thought that this allegory does exist. After that simple hint of what to look for, the evidence in the text itself becomes proof enough that Beowulf is indeed a allegory for Christ. Firstly, the people, the Danes and Geats, in Beowulf live in a seemingly pagan setting but never once do they mention the Gods or even allude to any of the Nordic myths. Instead, every reference to a higher deity is described by the "Ruler, the Judge of Deeds, the Lord God, Protector of Heaven, and the Glorious King."
If the study of literature shows nothing else, it shows that every author, consciously or subconsciously, creates his (or her) work after his (or her) own worldview. Tolkien is no exception. "I am a Christian..." he writes(1), and his book shows it. Christianity appears not as allegory--Tolkien despises that(2)--nor as analogy, but as deep under girding presuppositions, similarities of pattern, and shared symbols. That there should be similarities between the presuppositions of of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's Catholic faith is to be expected given Tolkien's own views on Christianity and myth.
In a... ... middle of paper ... ...t we may come to participate in the love and will of the Father. Pagans do not acknowledge or apprehend the presence of divine Law and Will in the world in the way Christ did, nor of its fulfillment in world through the Logos—whether out of blindness or clarity of wisdom and vision we do not venture to say, but wish only to highlight the distinction. For pagans like Plotinus, the blessed Vision is but a transient experience, for the gap between time and eternity could not be bridged. But Christ was that bridge, simultaneously participating in time and eternity, and Christianity in particular is distinguished by its faith in the Word’s coming into being and existence in time—through Christ eternity was born in time; eternity came through Christ and left its eternal mark on time. This is perhaps among the more fundamental differences between paganism and Christianity.
In the epic poem, Beowulf, there is evidence of Christian and pagan ideas. The idea of fate is discussed often throughout, and the people of that time are described as leaving what happens with the fight between good and evil forces up to the idea of fate. For fear that there is nothing that can be done to change the course of what happens, everything is predestined. However, the poem also has Christian elements as well, and the people of that time often speak of God in relation to the help he gives them as well as his judgement. There has been some discussion as to whether this work can be labeled as a Christian work, or if the Christian elements were put in as an afterthought.
Paganism is a religion which is focused on the individual instead of groups. Oz, a Pagan who shares his beliefs through informative books, says, “Today, ‘Pagan’ technically encompasses all polytheistic religions and spiritualities, those that worship multiple goddesses and gods, and that tend to honor the living forces of Nature.” Many Pagans believe the “God and Goddess” theory, which says there is a pair of ruling deities who created the world. They believe that human males and females would have come from these equal deities; if there was only a male God, where would he get an idea for a female without one already there? This theory is actually seen within many ancient religions, like Greek mythology’s Zeus and Hera. But ... ... middle of paper ... ... Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. 3.