Importance Of Christianity In Beowulf

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Christianity in Beowulf
The devout followers of the Christian religion have a long-standing reputation for adapting and manipulating antecedent and subsequent “unholy,” outright pagan symbols, practices, and traditions to have their righteous agenda subsumed into popular culture, such as Christmas or December 25th - which, to Christians, is the birth of Jesus Christ, but historically was the celebrated day of the birth of the pagan god, Mithra, the Greek god, Dionysus, and the Phrygo-Roman god, Attis, who was, like Jesus, described as being born of a virgin. Enlisting syncretism - the combining of religious and cultural characteristics - to appeal to minorities of pagans, enticing them to convert and assimilate into their ranks, or to assert
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During the time in which the poem is set, the Anglo-Saxons - early inhabitants of Great Britain - were still migrating from their Germanic homeland in continental Europe towards England; therefore, the poem, which was first discovered in England, is assumed to have been authored by one of them, a person or persons dubbed the fabled “Beowulf poet.” Given these paleographical circumstances, one can conjecture that the Christian themes that are littered about were not present in the original text (assuming there was one) and must have been inscribed within the only surviving manuscript possessed by whosoever obtained the story between its original authoring and the time of discovery around the mid-17th …show more content…
Throughout the poem - especially so around line 279 where he first introduces himself, claiming that he can “calm the turmoil and terror in [Hrothgar’s] mind” (Line 282) - Beowulf displays a boasting pride and a holier-than-thou attitude towards every soul he meets. And like the strong majority of the ever vain epic heroes, he, for means of persuasion but with an obvious tone of pride, announces his many “great triumphs,” boasts of his “awesome strength,” and tells of moments when he was “boltered in the blood of enemies” (Lines 409-426). The execution of these claims from Beowulf creates an image of the classical stereotype of a hero who is not quite “super” but is not completely “human” as well. They are, instead, a literalized compilation of what every man should strive to imitate - much like Jesus Christ is to Christians. But the issue here lies in the traits that are exemplified through Christ and Beowulf: Beowulf remains steadfast in preserving the characteristics of the Homeric epic hero (bravery, nobility, the retainment of humanity), but Christ is a shift of direction, as he represents charity, compassion, relinquishment of humanly desires, and meekness. They are characters who

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