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Epic of Beowulf

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It is common opinion that Beowulf was written by a Christian poet. This was probably true because at the time when it was written, most of the few people who knew how to read and write were in the clergy. There are various references within the poem to elements of the Christian religion. However, the story is about Pagan people and certain aspects of their culture are even glorified. The ambiguity of Beowulf’s religious content has caused confusion as to what significance religion had in inspiring the author and in what manner the author meant to inspire or influence his audience. I do not think that Beowulf is a Christian allegory because Beowulf had very little in common with the Biblical figure of Jesus Christ. I think that religion was not the primary thematic concern of the writer. Although there are discrepancies between the two styles of thinking, Beowulf seems to praise values which were considered moral and good among all humanity, both Christian and Pagan.
The text of Beowulf clearly shows that at some point in time Biblical allusions were added to it, and suggests that someone learned in Christianity helped shape the story. The initial depiction of Grendel regarded the beast as “a fiend out of hell,” and claimed, “…he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts.” References to hell, Cain, and “the Creator”, make it evident that Christian elements were present in the story. More importantly, the reference to “the Creator” shows that monotheistic theory was incorporated into the text. Grendel’s relationship to this “Creator” is further elaborated on, in which case the author refers to the latter as “Eternal Lord”, “Almighty”, and “God.” All four of which are common ways to refer to the individual Christian God, and were capitalized as would have been in the Bible.
These allusions to Christian faith could lead a critic to assume that Beowulf is a Christian allegory. Critics who read the poem in this way often call Beowulf a Christ figure because he is a savior to his people. However, if the poem was really meant to be read in this way, I think that Beowulf would have been ultimately triumphant and would have survived his fight with the dragon. I do not claim to be a Biblical scholar but I can not remember any stories from the Bible where Christ did any killing or boasting.
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