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Beowulf - Paganism and Christianity

Autor:   •  October 18, 2013  •  Essay  •  257 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,315 Views

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Beowulf - Paganism and Christianity

To understand Paganism and Christianity belief systems in Beowulf, we must first understand each. Paganism or Pagans worshiped gods, goddesses, spirits, and deceased family members. In their belief system, Pagans honor their ancestry and ancestors. Most pagans regard salvation as meaningless to their spiritual path. Christianity or Christians worship one God. Christians believe that if they believe in Jesus, his messages and his teachings, and God, that they will have everlasting life.

Christian and Pagan values are the motivation for revenge in Grendel's mother's attack. For example, when the sea became still saving Beowulf from sea-monsters, he believed that fate saves the man when his courage is good. What Beowulf has failed to realize is that what will happen to man is not controlled by fate, but it is controlled by God. Beowulf doesn't make a good vehicle to use to encourage a change in beliefs from Pagan views to Christian views. Beowulf's strong belief in fate was a replication of how the Pagan's society fate belief. In this time, afterlife was not a practiced belief of the Pagan's. In the eyes of most people in his time he would be a hero to admire and honor. Beowulf was an admirable hero because he upheld his respect to others, his loyalty to his king (not God), as well as his people when he is king. He is a man that puts his faith into his destiny, not God.

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