Christianity In Anglo Saxon Literature

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Throughout Anglo-Saxon literature, grand works are often tied with paganism and the beliefs associated with it. However, not all works of literature fall into this classification. As Christianity began to make its mark upon the ancient world, so did its influence upon various parts of Anglo-Saxon society. As a result, many new texts and practices were altered to reflect this shift. The presence of Christian doctrine greatly increased as people began to move away from opposing religions, and pagan practices were often forbidden. Therefore, many texts were written to glorify Christianity. In “The Dream of the Rood”, the well-established ethos is tied together with Christian doctrines, where the purity and love of Christ strikingly stands out …show more content…
In Christianity, God is almighty, and Jesus stood strong despite the horrible things that were cast upon him. In addition, Christ’s followers remained close to his side, and other texts surely drew upon this scenario as well. A lord’s comitatus was his band of closest friends who pledged themselves to stand strong alongside him. Applications of a comitatus can be found in various other texts, such as “Beowulf” during his battle with the dragon, and in “The Battle of Maldon” in Lord Byrhtnoth’s battle with the Vikings. Both characters are commended for their virtuous and unfailing behavior, which is the same behavior that Christ displays with God and the cross standing with him. A resolute comitatus seemed to be an important facet of the modern ethos that was valued. Having followers as such certainly did not diminish the leader in any way; rather, it signified the importance of a strong bond between the people, which is an aspect of Christianity throughout different walks of life. In “The Battle of Maldon”, Lord Byrhtnoth loses his life fighting for what he believes in. However, it was not in vain. Undeterred by the relentless Vikings, he carries on his flag; he did lose the battle, but he stood against his foes with his loyal band of followers. In doing so, his courageous spirit was an example for all to see. Leofsunu, loyal to his fallen lord, states, “I vow it, that hence I will not flee a foot’s length, but will advance, avenge in strife my lord-friend…”(lines 246-249). Despite the fleeing of Godric, along with several others, which can be compared to the betrayal of Christ by Judas, Byrhtnoth retains his image that his comitatus is not afraid to carry on. Likewise, in “Beowulf”, Beowulf fights the dragon aware that his own strength is not as it was before. However, he keeps his courage, and knows that he is choosing the

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