In conclusion, the epic tale of Beowulf is a pagan tale with a pagan hero. Although there are Christian images throughout the tale, the story is clearly pagan in nature. The Beowulf poet portrays the culture and people by separating the main ideas like a prism does with light. Although there are the Christian references surface throughout the tale, a look at the epic as a whole clearly shows its true pagan nature. No matter which end of the spectrum you are looking from, all the ideas prove that pagan concepts and principles prevail over the values of Christianity.
Pagan Burial Rites in the Epic of Beowulf Scores of essays are written about the Christian influence on the Beowulf poet. Most notable Beowulf scholars such as Kl‘ber, Robinson and Whitelock do not fail to address the matter. Given the complexity of the issue and the proliferation of evidence within the poem, we can understand the universal appeal of this topic. The poet transposes his Christian convictions onto a story which formed in a culture devoid of Christianity. In many instances, however, the poem's pagan basis shines through.
Throughout this paper the dictional similarities of the purposes of the authors of the Dream of the Rood and Beowulf will be compared and discussed. Both authors present their goals by using characteristics of the Norse Mythological Gods, to describe the heroes in both poems to lead their readers, the Anglo- Saxons, to convert to Christianity. There is a lot of historical context that is involved with this topic which describes the struggles in Britain in converting the people into Christianity. Anglo-Saxons that came into Britain were originally pagan which consisted of them worshipping gods of nature and trees and rocks. They would pray to these gods for materialistic things such as a good harvest or to win an upcoming battle.
Before the invention of the printing press or written history, oral history, especially in early Germanic culture, became the foremost means of transcribing values, and past events. Written down in approximately 1,000 A.D. by an unknown author, Beowulf, originally a pagan fable, became a Christian allegory upon its transcription by Christian monks. However, as scholars have debated over the religious context in Beowulf, the attempts by the monks to turn the epic poem into a Christian parable ended merged, including both original and Christian aspects. Throughout Beowulf, the epic combines pagan ideals of fate or wyrd and the will of God, the similar concepts of the afterlife, and the contrasting ideas of the individual. In Beowulf, a tension arises between the natural construction of the poem and the Christian ideals added.
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.
Consequently, there have been debates over the ages whether the poem is a wholly Christian or Pagan poem. Hence, in an anonymously written Beowulf, the poet intermingled a range of Christian and Pagan elements and tradition to demonstrate the blending of theologies in eighth century Anglo-Saxon society. To understand why Beowulf contains shadings of Christian and Pagan elements, one must first understand late eighth century Anglo-Saxon society. In the late eighth century, Christianity was just becoming the standard religion for the people. However, pagan traditions were still being followed and respected however to a lesser degree.
The tales of Beowulf were already ancient legend when the poet began his work (whenever that was; dating the poem seems to be another of those old controversies with dates ranging from the 7th to the 11th centuries). The author skillfully uses this material to construct an entertaining tale while at the same time attempting to reconcile the concepts of the pagan wyrd (fate) and dom (renown or worth) with the Christian concepts of grace and final judgement. So it is that we have a poem that is overwhelmingly a pagan story, suffused with the old Germanic warrior culture ethos, yet sprinkled with many loosely Christian comments and a few explicitly Christian passages. However, it should be noted that while we refer to these passages as Christian, no reference to Christ is to be found within the poem. The first of the Christian passages occurs when we are introduced to Grendal: God had condemned them as kin of Cain.
Monasteries provided a place for learning and they also saved some of the manuscripts, such as the story Beowulf. Christianity does eventually replace pagan religion as far as Anglo-Saxons are concerned. Although the unknown author of Beowulf develops the main protagonist to represent both paganism and Christianity, the ideals conflict create a unique epic poem. Pagans do not believe in an afterlife. Pagans simply believe that there is nothing after living on Earth.
The idea of loyalty, a hero, and a giver are all signs of Christianity. Beowulf could be seen as Christ when trying to help the people as Grendel could be compared to Satan who tries to destroy happiness and well-doing. The last battle in Beowulf was against the fierce dragon that could also be saw as the power of Satan. During this battle Beowulf chooses to use a weapon because of the dragon’s deadly venom, it would only be fair. It was a hard fight but Beowulf wasn’t capable of defeating the dragon.
You can see that Beowulf believes in GOD, however, the mention of pagan practices are throughout the poem. This may have a tendency to overshadow the elements of Christianity. As a matter of fact Christianity and Paganism are so closely intertwined with each other in the poem. The reason for that is, Beowulf