Jerome (354-420 A.D.) criticized the classics for not being Christian enough and Christian texts for not being readable enough, he adapted to literature a peculiarly Christian methodology that allowed the young religion to firmly entrench itself in the Western world…
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In many ways, it was an inspired approach, and Christianity’s evangelical methods helped the religion seep across the West and take firm root among its people. Still, the marriage of Christian virtues and local tradition was not always a natural one, and Beowulf is one of the best examples of this battle between old and new ethics. Though Beowulf is considered the first Christian epic by many literary historians, one can also argue that Beowulf is the last stand of pagan faith in the North – a cautionary tale about the repercussions of adopting Christian values over the ones that had served the Northern leaders well in pre-Christian times. In fact, Beowulf might be read as a battle, not just between the hero and the three monsters of the tale, but between the traditional Norse values and the new Christian ethos.
Like Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus or I Samuel in the Old Testament, Beowulf feels anachronistic – much of its content could easily be lifted and reset as the plot for a modern action film. The critical events of Beowulf center on violence – like a good action movie, the violence is the point, and the rest of the narrative is wrapped around it in a fairly gratuitous bow. (This may be one reason critics like W.P. Ker have classified Beowulf as second-class literature despite its historic significance.) This emphasis on violence is one of the most salient examples of the conflict between Christian virtues and pagan values in Beowulf. As Thomas Prendergast points out, Beowulf’s ostensible rejection of violence – an adoption of Christian pacifist values – it belied by the relish with which the poem describes the violence it contains: “For even as the work’s narrator cautions against the idolatrous seductions of violence, the work unfolds as an idolatrous memorialization of the pleasures of violence—a pleasure compulsively repeated in
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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.
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.
It is therefore mostly designed or created to entertain its intended audience and utilizes a great many kinds of literary devices such as the fusion of fictional events with real historical events. Additionally, it also utilizes a combination of pagan elements which reflected the situational context of the times when the poem was created and an adoption of certain Christian elements to suit a story line to new trends which was the growing Christian conversion of pagan tribes.
Strength and honor are important values, bringing fame to the kinsmen of the hero. Beowulf fits the specification of a pagan hero through his great deeds: “Fame winning deeds/have come early to my hands” (Alexander, lines 408-409). The pagan dimension is most evident in all the artefacts and customs that surround the action, while the Christian dimension is clear from the way that Beowulf’s ultimate defeat is interpreted.
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 the characters of the work are influenced and decided by the pagan beliefs of the Norse and the Germanic tribes of the Middle Ages.
As the report talks Race and Ethnicity have been two of the most closely scrutinized themes in the field of sociology. The classic definition of the two terms has witnessed several changes, depending on the socio-political developments around the globe. There is a natural belief that these differences lead to superiority of a particular race.
As a function of seeking to understand this correlation to a more full and complete degree, the following analysis will engage the reader with a focus on how these two inter-relate within the story.
Firstly, it must be understood that a great deal of the storyline and plot
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