Beowulf And Christian Beliefs

842 Words4 Pages
The epic poem Beowulf is known for its awesome tale of thanes and lords who ruled over and fought for the lives and safety of the Anglo Saxons. It is also a story that has inspired countless other novels, most notably The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. The poem itself was inspired by the Anglo Saxon culture and Christian ideas. Though we do not know if Beowulf was written by monks, during that time monks were converting the Anglo Saxons to Christianity during the early A.D. eras. They created stories that would capture the interest of the Anglo Saxons while also mixing Christian ideals so that within a few centuries Anglo Saxons would have unknowingly accepted the Christian faith. Beowulf is a poem in which Christian and Anglo…show more content…
The death of anyone is a significant event and is usually treated as such The Anglo Saxon culture sent their dead, especially the ones who were considered important,on a boat filled with treasures of gold and weapons while eventually setting the boat and the body out to sea. The boat was expected eventually to land aground somewhere only to be looted later on by others who come across it. In Beowulf, Shield - founder of the Danes - is told to be treated in the same manner. “They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear.” (Page 34, lines 34-37) In contrast, Christianity’s way of embracing the dead after they’re gone is to build above ground tombs that would last for many years to come. Beowulf was buried in this manner at the end of the poem,…show more content…
However, within the epic poem Beowulf, the Saxon’s were only heard to mention God and thanking Him, the Almighty. “With that the old lord sprang to his feet and praised God for Beowulf’s pledge.” (Page 64, lines 1397-1398) This creates tension between what were the actual Saxon beliefs and the beliefs of the Christians were. The author used these known facts on cultural differences to show and help the conversion of the Anglo Saxon people to the Christian faith. In the poem they call the Pagan Gods “killer of souls” and there are feasts with the telling of creation stories The Anglo Saxons passed their traditions on orally while the Christian s were more prone to write down their stories which is why many of the tales told within the poem are told orally. Though there are tensions between what was true of the Anglo Saxons and what was written in Beowulf the poem kept several of the Anglo Saxon’s true cultural customs in the story. Beowulf was able to represent an Ango Saxon warrior but at the same time he was also able to be buried in such a way that represented the Christian way of

More about Beowulf And Christian Beliefs

Open Document