Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Pagan and Christian Symbols in Beowulf
At the prison term that Beowulf was written, the finis that produced the poem, the Anglo-Saxons, were a irreligious culture. The Catholic Church was pass judgmenting to splay its article of beliefs to other parts of the world. The Anglo-Saxons were a explicit target. Many of the texts that we have out of that time period were written by Catholic monastics. In Beowulf in that respect argon many another(prenominal) references to irreligious and Christian beliefs. These beliefs neither contradict, nor beam each other. Rather, the monks writing the work interjected any(prenominal) Christian ideas in order to try and sell Christianity to the people that were known with the tale.The heathen and Christian ideas are perfectly distort together to introduce some of the ideas of Christianity to a pagan people. In this poem there are often references to pagan and Christian beliefs rattling close in the hang on of poetry. This would tie a familiar belief to some social function exotic to the Anglo-Saxons. In lines 1261-1268, the story of Cain and Abel are briefly explained, provided not farthermost from this Christian reference is the idea of revenge, in line 1278, which is frowned upon in Christianity, but it was a popular belief among the Anglo-Saxon culture at that time.By binding these two elements together, the monk was trying to make Christianity seem little foreign and more than like something familiar to the people. At the end of the attack on Grendels mother, in lines 1553-1556, the outcome of the oppose was said to have been decided by graven image. Beowulf even credits God and convey him for guiding him through the battle at many different horizontal sur take cares of the story. Yet, at the very end of the poem the greatest thing for Beowulf is fame. He wants to be remembered forever for his actions.At this point there is no mention of God or Gods help. Beowulf boasts I risked my life Often when I was young. direct I am old, But as king of this people I shall lease this fight For the glory of winning, if the evil wholeness will only Abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open. (lines 2511-2515) This gives to credit to God for his actions, but it does tie God into fame. Earlier in the poem God had helped Beowulf on his quest, which bring ined him gross(a) fame. This, again, ties a popular belief among the Anglo-Saxons to a Christian belief.Making it easier to understand and, in a way, makes Christianity seem like a suited belief system if it will gain one fame. The monks who wrote down the oral usage of Beowulf intertwined Christian and pagan beliefs, hoping it would make Christianity more familiar to the Anglo-Saxons of that time. The monks had also used examples of Christianity that make it seem desirable for the people to convert. The mean of adding Christian elements to Beowulf was not to outshine the pagan beliefs but to make Christianity something the Anglo-Saxons would understand.