Beowulf expresses a philosophical tension wherein the important pagan virtue of pride is the principal vice of christianity. Sometimes readers of beowulf are confused by the mishmash of overt christianity with obvious pagan imagery like dragons and superhuman powers prior to the medieval period, old english poetry was. Discuss the elements of paganism and christianity in beowulf before the advent of christianity in england, the anglo-saxon literature was pagan or secular. I have used the christian vs pagan activity as a stand-alone lesson this time i included it in the station rotation and advised students that the concept would be on the traditional assess.
Examining the pagan and christian elements in beowulf it is common belief that the beowulf poet was a christian monk who took an essentially pagan story and laced it with christian doctrine. Beowulf is a striking example of early medieval heroic epic the poem appeared on the basis of old german legends related to pagan times the poem has many aspects and is at the intersection of different fields of humane knowledge: history, mythology, and linguistics. Christianity and neopaganism overlap when the beliefs or practices of one religious path influence, or are adopted by, the other historically, christianity sometimes took advantage of traditional pagan beliefs when it spread to new areas - a process known as inculturation. Beowulf: christian vs pagan influence essay the european epic, beowulf, was written sometime in the eighth century in england this time period provides us with an idea for the mixture of christian and pagan elements because of an english society that was in the process of converting from paganism to christianity.
Christianity and paganism in beowulf the heroic elegiac poem, beowulf, is a reflection of many anglo-saxon ideals and concepts this work was written after the anglo-saxons were already christianized, yet the pagan. At its core, beowulf is more lion than lamb, offering more of pagan wilderness than cultivated christian teaching and we find in it a pagan reverence for courage, loyalty, and honor rather than the christian triad of faith, hope, and love. Discuss the blend of christian and pagan beliefs in beowulf how does this blend reflect life during this time anglo-saxons began with strong pagan beliefs, but that all changed when the romans arrived and brought with them christianity. Professor awesome talks about the enormously complex issue of the date of beowulf and what that tells us about christian and pagan elements in the poem. Although beowulf is a pagan myth, most believe it was originally written down by a christian monk who incorporated several christian elements into the dialogue and plot.
An essay or paper on beowulf-christianity or paganism beowulf was written in england sometime in the 18th century this provides us with an idea of a poem that was written during a time when the society had converted from paganism to christianity"(cohen 138) "we know that paganism did exist alongside christianity during the approximate era that beowu. Throughout the epic beowulf, the poet strives to accommodate two sets of belief systems: pagan belief system and christianity while the former often maintains earthly good, the latter, in contrast, asserts heavenly salvation although pagan value and christianity are characterized as a conflict. The poem of beowulf stands as one of the earliest works in english in which it deals with feuding, religion and fate the poem beowulf relates to his heroic deeds against grendel, his mother, and the dragon while combining elements of christian ideas as well as pagan ideas. Christianity & paganism in beowulf essays: over 180,000 christianity & paganism in beowulf essays, christianity & paganism in beowulf term papers, christianity & paganism in beowulf research paper, book reports 184 990 essays, term and research papers available for unlimited access. The poem's fusion of christian and pagan ideals is a reflection of the time in which it was written it was a period in which the virtues of the heathen 'heroic age' were tempered by the gentleness of the new belief an age warlike, yet christian.
Christian/pagan ritual 1: beowulf is an essentially pagan poem its composition occurred at the same time as england's conversion to christianity when prince beo is. This feature is not available right now please try again later. In augustine's city of god, he attacks pagan culture and its pantheon of gods, blaming them for the decadence of society it is augustine's ideas that we see in beowulf , tempering the heroic arrogance of the great warrior.
The people worshiped pagan deities instead of the one god that they have once depended on for understandingâ â the poet uses this example from beowulf to show that although christianity is the main tradition that people have depended on, they still have tendencies to turn to paganism and pray to pagan deities, hoping to be relieved from. Because of its complicated origin, beowulf has elements of both pagan germanic culture and christianity the story of beowulf probably originated as an oral tradition sometime in the 7th century. Summary: explores beowulf, an epic poem written in the eighth century examines the concurring themes of paganism and christianity in the poem beowulf is an epic poem written in the eighth century during this time period, society was in the process of converting from paganism to christianity by. Everything you ever wanted to know about the quotes talking about religion in beowulf, of the world is an unusual mishmash of pagan and christian imagery.
Overall, beowulf contains many pagan themes and concepts, but yet it also contains many clear references to christianity it is an anglo saxon work with a peculiar spiritual atmosphere in order to evaluate the fusion of christian ideas and pagan-heroic characteristics, the development of religion in britain must first be considered. The central, seemingly inescapable question of beowulf is the poem's relationship to paganism the poem, which survives in a single monastery-produced manuscript, clearly survives because of christian literary practice just as clearly, its story looks back to the heathen past and the heroic mode.