Nobody downloaded yet

Beowulf: Pagan Traditions - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Student's Name & Course Number: Professor's Name: Beowulf (Pagan Traditions) 29 August 2011 (word count – 1007) Introduction Beowulf is an epic poem based primarily on events that supposedly happened in the areas around Scandinavia. As such, it is important to bear in mind it is still basically a story of mythic proportions told through the use of a literary device such as the creation of legends…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.3% of users find it useful
Beowulf: Pagan Traditions
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Beowulf: Pagan Traditions"

Download file to see previous pages With this in mind, this paper attempts to discuss and dispute the prevalent perception that it is mainly a diatribe against Nature as essentially hostile to humans and that Fate is blind. On the contrary, this paper believes otherwise; Beowulf was also ultimately successful in the end. Discussion Contrary to popular perceptions, Beowulf is actually a celebration of the wonders of Nature although at times it may portray Nature as hostile; but this portrayal was intended only to contrast and highlight the heroic acts of the main protagonist in it. Moreover, although the background in time and context was definitely pagan in most respects, the Beowulf is likewise very much pervaded by constant references to a God and other Christian patterns of thought (Magennis 82). Beowulf is believed to have been composed around the eight century and as such already belongs to the Christian era when pagan Germanic tribes were being converted. A hostile state of Nature is used only to emphasize the consequences of not believing in religion, as the events in this epic poem refer primarily to the post-lapsarian state of things; the portrayal of Nature here is mainly a literary device so that its audiences can relate more to a powerful “Lord of Life” which was the euphemism used for an actual belief in god. A story like Beowulf was more interested in portrayals of the conflicts among humans rather than this supposed conflict with a hostile Nature. The primeval chaotic state of things were more like a manifestation of the mythic abstractions with which to emphasize an evil potential of humans (Klaeber et al. 201). Although most of the events in Beowulf are clearly pagan in nature, this epic poem is a fusion with religious beliefs anchored on Christian teachings to convert people. A supposed lack of harmony between people and nature is actually a fight between good and evil (Bazelmans 104) and it should be properly viewed this way. This perceived conflict between man and Nature is just to illustrate the important and crucial aspects of the larger theme of the epic poem's story which is that between of ancestors steeped in their pagan ways in the past and the new audience with Christian leanings. A point intended by the author of Beowulf is to lessen the gap between the audience and protagonists in the story to which the audience can easily relate to in their lives (ibid.). Beowulf utilized a number of instances in which blind fate and physical strength alone are not enough to battle a slew of instances against evil; this had been amply demonstrated when Beowulf prepared to do battle with Grendel's mother (Greenfield and Renoir 19). It is no longer blind fate which is propelling his actions but rather a newly-acquired willingness to accept Divine Will as a part of the overall scheme of things in life. In this regard, it is not blind fate anymore that can be a determinant of the outcomes of certain battles but rather a strong determination to overcome a force of nature through insistence of using free choice and Divine Will. Although Beowulf died in his final battle (having been mortally wounded), it is not a failure for he showed human beings can still do ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Beowulf: Pagan Traditions Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Beowulf: Pagan Traditions Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
“Beowulf: Pagan Traditions Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
Discuss some christian and pagan elements in the epic Beowulf
...?Christian religion in the 7-8th centuries did not overcome the pagan worldview; rather, it moved from the official sphere into the background of public consciousness. In Beowulf Grendel is called “kin of Cain” (105-114). The old pagan beliefs mix with the Christian faith. Grendel is cursed; he is called a pagan and sentenced to the tortures of the damned. And yet he himself is like a devil. In this layered understanding of the forces of evil pagan and Christian views are intertwined. Also, understanding of God the Creator in Beowulf is no less specific. The poem, which repeatedly mentions the ruler of the world, the mighty God, never...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Discuss some Christian and pagan elements in the epic Beowulf .... ' Beowulf
...? s Christian and Pagan elements in the epic Beowulf The epic Beowulf was written in a time period when the Anglo-Saxon society was going through a major transition from Paganism to Christianity. A strong pagan element demonstrated by through the depiction of the protagonist Beowulf as a superhuman character and possesses supernatural strength. Grendel is a monster and his mother possesses both human and non-human traits; various aspects of her character are nature-based. Christian elements may entail that Beowulf demonstrates Christ-like behavior and is the epitome of loyalty, honor and valiance. Grendel is described as...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Discuss some Christian and pagan elements in the epic Beowulf .... ' Beowulf
...?Discuss some Christian and pagan elements in the epic Beowulf .... ' Beowulf " Beowulf, one of the first great heroic poems in English literature, has been celebrated for the Christian and Pagan elements in the work. It is important to recognize that the history of the controversy over Christian and Pagan elements in the work is long, complex, and central to the overall interpretation of the poem. Whereas Beowulf deals mainly with the ancient Germanic stories and heroes of a time before the Anglo-Saxons’s conversion to Christianity, the poem incorporates Christian elements through its style used by the narrator and...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
...? Religion and fate in Beowulf number Religion and fate in Beowulf Beowulf has attracted many aquestion regarding the religious beliefs that are espoused by the characters of the work. It is one of the oldest works of fiction that has survived the ravages of time and since going into the form of a text, many of its original verses are supposed to have undergone major transformations. As a result of this, many of the verses that clearly indicated its pagan belongings have been changed to ones that point to a Christian frame of reference. The origins of Beowulf remain undoubtedly pagan, however, and the different notions that are held by...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
...Client’s Name Professor’s Name Class Date Christianity in Beowulf Introduction The epic poem Beowulf is a tale of gore, high adventure, and spiritual awakening which denotes the pagan religion as it is leaving the medieval world to the space in which Christianity came to change the rules of their world. The tale is a story of heroism as it was seen in ancient traditions, a monster setting upon a community with a hero coming to save that community from the plague of damnation that fell upon them. The story has deeper meaning in relationship to the culture from which it came. Scholars have defined the meanings as they relate to the emerging Christian themes that were...
9 Pages(2250 words)Research Paper
...Analysis of the Epic Poem: Beowulf The epic poem Beowulf captures a sense of the oral tradition and the stories that were important to this early period. The poem is considered an epic poem because it traces the developmental character growth of its main character as he struggles with archetypal monsters reflecting the values of his society. The story is also told in a specific way that suggests it was part of an older oral tradition. The poem compares strongly with other epic poems such as the Iliad, Medea, Agamemnon, Virgil, Dante and Augustine. What all these epics have in common is a specific technical structure that helps with the memory recall of the poem, a...
1 Pages(250 words)Research Paper
...Beowulf   Many critics suggest that Beowulf is an ideal Germanic hero. The Beowulf text tells of the heroic endeavors and exploits of this Scandinavian Geatish young man who is adored by many (Heaney 3). His epic fights against the fire breathing monster Grendel earn him the reputation of being the most fearless and courageous young men of his time. The text paints Beowulf as the ideal hero, and his actions reflect the best values expected of a character of his stature and fame. Strength, courtesy, courage, pride and loyalty are values exuded by Beowulf as he goes about his duties to protect his people from evil forces. His heroism is not only apparent...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
...Beowulf Beowulf is a very physically and emotionally strong person and this strength is seen from his youth up to his older years as a king. Physically, he was able to defeat Grendel the monster who had terrorized King Hrooger and his people and who even killed one of Beowulf’s men. This he did without any weapon whatsoever and he showed no fear when confronting the monster (Haley, 13). His emotional strength is also eminent when he lacks fear even after it seemed that Grendel’s mother was going to defeat him in their fierce fight in the lake. His emotions do not waver and this enables him to find the magic sword and kill her with it. When discussing Beowulf’s leadership...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
...the characters have been portrayed in the film, for instance, the inclusion of fictional characters and events such as the dragon and the fight with the dragon show that the people in this period were highly superstitious. In addition, the movie was created from a manuscript that is thought to have been passed down through oral traditions showing some of the ways that the society at that time used to preserve their history. The action of Beowulf to go and help Hroogar show that the communities at those times were closely knit, as they were ready to help each other freely. The happening s during the time when the movie was made must have influenced the director since the way he has depicted the characters...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
...In what ways do the monstrous villains of Beowulf comment on or reflect the darker elements of human nature? Beowulf is considered to be a story that demonstrates an ancient worldview and implements the archetypal Anglo-Saxon hero. That is why we may understand and depict in our minds the image of valiant that protect his land and rectitude. Still, this epic literary treasure may bear deeper sense and produce more complex interpretation. Concerning the details we are able to notice the fact that magic creatures in Beowulf fully reflect the darker elements of human nature. The number of discussions is concentrated upon this question, and monster’s appropriate role in this tale with all...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Beowulf: Pagan Traditions for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us