Beowulf And The Anglo Saxon Essay

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At the time of the writing of Beowulf the Anglo-Saxons were in a period of cultural transition. Their predecessors, the Celts and Britons, had been conquered by the Romans prior to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. This resulted in a religious clash between the native Paganism and the newly introduced Roman Catholicism. This clash of religious beliefs in the Anglo-Saxon culture can be observed in Beowulf, and an understanding of their religion as a whole can be gleaned from it. The epic battle scenes, the characterizations, and the conversations between characters reveal that the Anglo-Saxon religion primarily consisted of Christian beliefs, with some Pagan ideas. Through the epic battle scenes, the author emphasizes that even though God wills the outcome of battles, fate still plays a part. In doing this the author reveals that even though the Anglo-Saxon culture was primarily Christian there was still some Pagan elements. This can be observed during the battle between Beowulf and Grendel’s mom when the poet states that “holy God / decided the victory” (1553-1554). This common Christian belief that God partakes in everyday activities and helps out his believers reflects the major role of Christianity in the Anglo-Saxon Religion. Their culture must have been heavily influenced by Christianity if they believed in this key principle. The belief that battles are determined by God can also be seen earlier in the poem when Beowulf is fighting Grendel, and it is proclaimed that Grendel…

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