Beowulf Analysis Essay, Research Paper
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Beowulf was written in England sometime in the eighth century. Beowulf was written in a clip when Christianity was going a major faith and Paganism was still widely practiced. Beowulf was originally likely a folklore fable told in early Celtic and Norse civilizations that was passed through the ages by word-of-mouth and was written down and revised by a Christian monastic in ulterior centuries. Beowulf has a combination of Pagan and Christian influences written into it. This combination makes this narrative great. The heathen elements in the heroic poem verse form Beowulf are apparent in the characters superhuman qualities. Beowulf is depicted as a superhero. & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; Beowulf, & # 8230 ; the strongest of the Geats-greater and stronger that anyone any where in this world- & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, lines 110-111 ) . & # 8220 ; Driping with my enemies & # 8217 ; blood & # 8230 ; drove five great giants into ironss & # 8230 ; runing monsters out of the ocean, killing them one by one & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, lines 153-1580 ) . Beowulf takes it upon himself to salvage the Danes from Grendel. In his conflict with Grendel, Beowulf chooses non to utilize arms ; he relies on his ace strength. & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; the monster & # 8217 ; s contemn & # 8230 ; so great that he needs no arms and frights none. Nor will I & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, lines 167-169 ) . During the battle, Beowulf & # 8217 ; s strength takes over and Beowulf wrestlings with Grendel until he is able to rend one of the monster & # 8217 ; s weaponries out of its socket. Superhuman feats besides appear in the battle with Grendel & # 8217 ; s female parent. When Beowulf enters the H2O, he swims downward for most of the twenty-four hours before he sees the underside. & # 8220 ; For hours he sank through the moving ridges ; & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, line 572 ) . He does this without the usage of O. During the conflict with Grendel & # 8217 ; s female parent, Beowulf realizes that Unferth & # 8217 ; s blade is useless against the monsters thick tegument. He grabs an tremendous blade made by giants, about excessively heavy to keep and cuts through the monster & # 8217 ; s organic structure. & # 8220 ; Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy blade, & # 8230 ; the best of all arms but so monolithic that no ordinary adult male could raise & # 8230 ; lifted it high over his caput and struck with all the strength he had left, & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, lines 633-641 ) . This superhero strength continues into the conflict with the firedrake. By this clip, Beowulf is an old adult male. He stands up to the firedrake and wounds him. Although Beowulf is fatally wounded himself, he still manages to present the concluding blow that kills the firedrake. Grendel is besides seen as a superhuman monster. Grendel has no cognition of arms so he excessively depends on his extraordinary strength to destruct his enemies. & # 8220 ; Snatched up 30 work forces, smashed them & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, line 37 ) . Besides do to the fright of Grendel people prayed to their rock Gods, a heathen ritual. & # 8220 ; And sometimes they sacrificed to the old rock Gods & # 8230 ; trusting for Hell & # 8217 ; s back up & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; ( Beowulf, lines 90-92 ) . The firedrake is besides seen as a ace powerful antagonist. The firedrake in Beowulf tongues fire with such intense heat that it melts Beowulf & # 8217 ; s screen to his organic structure. These conflicts are illustrations of heroic poem folklore during heathen times. Besides Beowulf & # 8217 ; s individual fate is to assist his people by deceasing while contending a supernatural animal. After Beowulf is defeated he wants his organic structure cremated and wants his ashes placed in a memorial tower as a reminder of H
is bravery, a very unchristian ritual. “Have the brave Geats build me a tomb, when the funeral flames have burned me, and build it here,…so sailors can see the tower, and remember my name, and call it Beowulf’s tower…”(Beowulf, lines 809-816). This leaves us the impression of pagan immortality. Christian influences are also very apparent in the poem. Many of the characters exhibit Christian characteristics. Beowulf has great kindness. Beowulf understood the predicament of the Danes that are being attacked by the evil monster Grendel and knew what he had to do, just as Christ did for humanity. Both set out to save their people. “Heard how Grendel filled the nights with horror…would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help was needed”(Beowulf, lines 112-116). When Beowulf battles Grendel, he exhibits a sense of fairness when he refuses to use a weapon. The idea throughout the poem of living right, of loyalty, and of being a good leader can all be seen as traits of a good Christian. Just as Beowulf somewhat compares to Christ, Grendel is like Satan. Beowulf and Grendel represent the Christian beliefs of good verses evil. Grendel is referred to as a descendant of Cain, the man who killed his own brother. “Conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain…punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death.”(Beowulf, lines 20-24). Satan is jealous of the happiness and joy that humanity has, Grendel is jealous of the happiness and joy in Herot. “…in the darkness, growled in pain, impatient as day after day the music rang…”(Beowulf, lines 2-3). Grendel lives in an underworld as Satan lives in hell. The dragon is Beowulf’s last and greatest battle. The dragon represents hostility, greed, and destruction, which can also be paralleled to the devil. Beowulf’s fight with the dragon is like how Jesus gave his life for his people. Finally, just as Christ had one last battle, Beowulf has his final battle with the dragon. Both Christ and Beowulf fought hard in their last battles with evil and although they both ultimately died in their final battle, they both were able to overcome the evil before they died. Other more apparent influences of Christianity was the reference of Hrothgar’s throne being holy. “… he never dared to touch king Hrothgar’s…throne, protected by God-God, whose love Grendel could not know.”(Beowulf, lines 82-85). The reference to God was throughout the poem. “God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip.”(Beowulf, lines 174-175). “Surely the Lord Almighty could stop this madness, smother his lust!”(Beowulf, lines 212-213). The theme of Cain and Abel is brought up one more time during the confrontation between Beowulf and Unferth. “You murdered your brothers, your own close kin. Words and bright wit won’t help your soul:…Unferth, forever tormented.”(Beowulf, lines 320-323). In conclusion, the author of Beowulf was very effective in combining pagan and Christian ideas in his poem. The technique of combining two different ideals made the poem Beowulf very interesting to read. In fusing Pagan and Christian ideas, the poet was able to emphasize the morals of his times and to enhance his characters with Christian values and Pagan folk legend.