Christian & Pagan Influences

Christian & Pagan Influences

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Christian & Pagan Influences

There are Christian influences in the episode of "Grendel's Mother's attack." Primarily, the Christian influence is seen Norton text(43):

Grendel's mother, woman, monster-wife, was mindful of her misery, she who had to dwell in the terrible water, the cold currents, after Cain became sword-slayer of his only brother, his father's own son. Then Cain went as an outlaw to flee the cheerful life of men, marked for his murder, held to the wasteland. From him sprang many a devil sent by fate. Grendel was one of them, hateful outcast who at Herot found a waking man waiting his warfare. There a monster had laid hold upon him...Then he went off wretched, bereft of joy, to seek his dying place, enemy of mankind. And his mother, still greedy and gallows-grin, would go on a sorrowful venture, avenge her son's death".

Grendel is the spawn of the greatest sin in the Anglo-Saxon era -- fratricide. Fratricide is the slaying of one's own brother. Cain was cursed by God, forced to have hardship in tilling the soil and was given a mark on his head. God's wrath would not allow Cain to abandon his sin, by death, and his curse carried on throughout the life of mankind. To read the complete story of Cain and his brother Abel, click here The sin of fratricide did not only mean blood-related family, but applied to the murder of kinsmen.

This portion of the Norton text deals with Beowulf and his root to God's grace:

...but he was mindful of the great strength, the large gift God had given him and relied on the Almighty for favor, comfort and help. By that he overcame the foe, subdued the hell-spirit.

This quotation provides a sense of Christian values and shows the hero's dependency on God. According to the poet, Beowulf realizes that his strength comes from the Almighty rather than from his own merit. Beowulf is shown as a brave warrior.

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Christian & Pagan Influences Essay

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However, we see that he goes to God for "comfort and help". Using his God- given ability, he defeats Grendel and Grendel's mother and returns to Geatland victorious.

Christian values, we learn, were highly honored and followed during the Anglo-Saxon era. However, we see the pagan ideal also, when we see the idea of revenge and battle. Although both pagan and Christian influences are included, the Christian value system is illustrated as the desired way of life.
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