Weaving Christian And Pagan Beliefs In Beowulf
Beowulf is a great example of the convergence of Christian and pagan beliefs through its reference to pagan gods and God in the Christian belief. At times, during the story the beliefs appear to blend. Illustrations will show that both beliefs appear distinctly from each other throughout the story.
First, Beowulf embodies many elements of the Christian faith. In the story Gendel is believed to have descended from Cain the son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother. The reference to Cain is a way to show the complete evil of Gendel. The evil of Gendel offsets the good of Beowulf. God protects the throne of Hrothgar. The throne's protection by God displays the belief in a single God. It also shows the presence of God in every day life. Through these examples it can be said that Beowulf was devoutly Christian.
Subsequently, Beowulf contains many old Anglo-Saxon pagan doctrines. After Gendel attacks Herot, the people revert to their old pagan beliefs. This shows that they did not have a firm base in Christianity. Revealing that they could easily be swayed in their beliefs. A magic sword was used to kill Gendel's mother. This divulges their beliefs in pagan sprits and magic; also, their beliefs outside of Christianity. Christianity is a superficial belief of these people which is easily overturned by an obstacle in their life.
Next, Blends of Christian and pagan beliefs are expressed throughout the story. Beowulf shows a pagan out look of death, after appearing to strongly belief in Christianity in the majority of the story. At the time of his death his fears over take him and he reverts to the old Anglo-Saxon pagan beliefs. When Wiglaf brings Beowulf the dragon's treasure Beowulf thanks God in Heaven. Yet, his view of the material wealth of the treasure does not express Christianity. Once again the pagan beliefs emerge to be the stronger of the two beliefs. The Christia