Pagan Values In Beowulf

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During the turn of the 5th century, the British Isles were under control of a strong and powerful group of people, called the Anglo-Saxons. These individuals worshipped under a Pagan religion that shaped their society in many ways. During the time period when the story was written, it is believed to have followed strict Paganism beliefs. Throughout the time the story has been told, Christian monks have rewritten it, changing it around to follow a Christian belief system. Even with these changes and rewrites, the core essence of the Anglo-Saxon beliefs remain in the story. Within the epic poem of Beowulf, readers can clearly see the traditions of Anglo-Saxon culture and the Pagan religion, including importance of reputation, concept of fate,…show more content…
As the Pagans of the Anglo-Saxon culture do not believe in the afterlife, they rely on their actual life they live to tell their story. They live to the fullest, while building to a high level of honor and pride among each other. In the poem, the burial of Beowulf is the only real party where we can see these traditions. With his last, dying breaths, Beowulf describes to Wiglaf the manner in which he wishes to be remembered, requesting to, “Have the brave Geats build me a tomb, when the funeral flames have burned me, and build it here, at the water’s edge, high on this spit of land, so sailors can see this tower, and call it Beowulf’s tower…” (812). Tying in again with reputation, Beowulf wishes to be remembered as a guiding light to the Geat people that he became a symbol to, and buried in a way in which he will be remember forever. As he had wished, the loyal soldiers of Beowulf had indeed built the tower, “... working for ten long days they built his monument, sealed his ashes in walls as straight and high as wise and willing hands could raise them” (874). Respecting his wish, a tower was brought up in his honor, to remember as a great warrior, following the long held tradition of mourning the dead that the Anglo-Saxons have long
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