Religious Values In Beowulf

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At the heart of Anglo-Saxon literature is the epic poem Beowulf. It was written in Old English somewhere between the middle of the 7th and the end of the 10th century by an unknown poet. Beowulf has come to be recognized as the foundational epic of English and British culture (Shmoop). The story has its roots in a pagan Saxon past, but by the time the epic poem was written down, almost all Anglo-Saxons had converted to Christianity. As a result the poet resolved his new Christian beliefs with the un-Christian behavior of the characters.
This epic poem tells of herioc deeds and events related to pre Anglo-Saxon culture. The story was set in Scandanavia and told orally as part of Germanic tradition. Beowulf was probably carried from generation
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They see being loyal and having allegiance to family, leaders, and community as essential to their lifestyle. Characters in the poem introduce themselves as son of so and so, they are first judged on their allegiances, then they include their lineage. When Beowulf arrived to meet King Hrothgar he introduced himself and his men by saying, “we belong by birth to the Geat people and owe allegiance to lord Hygelac”. Then he includes, “my father was a famous man, a noble warrior lord named Ecgtheow”. Grendel’s family history was also included letting us know that he comes from an evil clan being a direct decendent of Cain. Perhaps Grendel’s lack of allegiances and lineage was done to show that he is not loyal to…show more content…
Over the course of the poem Beowulf transforms from a galient warrior into a wise leader. In the beginning we see his self-sacrificing fight with Grendel. Then when, Hygelac dies, Beowulf does not hurry and seize the throne, but rather supports Hygelac’s young son to become king. Instead of accepting the Queens offer of the throne, wanting all of the glory for himself, he understands that it is better for the community that he wait for the throne. Another self sacrificing act that Beowulf does for the good of the community is fighting the dragon. This last act of Beowulf’s is from a consciousness of virtue and community and not an act
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