Beowulf: Christian vs. Pagan

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The epic poem Beowulf tells the story of a warrior who throughout his life overcomes evils. It has many references to Anglo-Saxon ideals of bravery, strength, and courage. For example, Beowulf brashly lists his accomplishments before entering each battle: "But the truth is simple: no man swims in the sea as I can, no strength is a match for mine ¦ other monsters crowded around me, continually attacking. I treated them politely, offering the edge of my razor-sharp sword,  (265-294). However, the poet suggests that his boasts are symbolic of Beowulf's personal insecurity. Beowulf seems afraid of defeat and faliure. His boastful remarks are reminders to himself of his invincibility. In this poem, the poet is both critical and praising of the Anglo-Saxons' beliefs and customs.

The poet shows a strong belief in Divine or supernatural notions. The poem reflects this belief through references to "that Shepherd of Evil  (432) and "[sacrifices] to the old stone gods  (90). These are

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