Beowulf Vs. Anglo Saxon Life Essay

1133 Words Sep 22nd, 2014 5 Pages
Although Christianity dominated the Anglo Saxon lifestyle, paganism was a present reality still being practiced. Paganism is a religion based on animism, or the belief that spirits resided in everything ("What Is Paganism?”). Pagans often worshipped multiple Gods, sacrificed animals and other commodities, and loved feasting and participating in festivals. An individuals destiny, fate, and glory were all important to Anglo Saxon’s in that they believed that immortality could be earned through heroic actions, this is revealed in Beowulf. Anglo Saxon life was dictated by by the need to protect your tribe or home against enemies (Neyman). These ideas are all well represented within Beowulf; throughout the poem Christian beliefs are highly valued and pursued. Pagan ideals were represented as well – such as the longing for revenge and lust for battle (Orr). Examples of both are omnipresent through the entirety of Beowulf. Greenblatt states that, “it is widely believed that Beowulf is the work of a single poet who was a Christian and that his poem reflects well-established Christian tradition” (p. 37). There are many examples throughout Beowulf that express the Christian faith and show that the epic poem was much more than just a story for the Anglo Saxon people to listen to at the mead-hall. The narrator incorporates their own beliefs and adds many references to their personal religion, not only to captivate the audience, but to allow the audience to relate to the poem. For…

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