Christian Faith In Beowulf

700 Words3 Pages
The epic poem Beowulf, written by an unknown author in the ninth century, is one of the few literary works that survives today from the time of Vikings and Scandinavian kings. During the time it was written, Europe was going through changes – making the shift from Paganism to Christianity. The results of this change are shown in various places throughout the text, from showing pagan-like beliefs pertaining to Beowulf’s life and abilities to Christian-like beliefs in the commentary of the monks who translated the original poem. The combination of these two belief systems allowed the poet to demonstrate exactly what life was like in Europe during that time period. Beowulf is a perfect example of how although Europe was adopting new, monotheistic…show more content…
One example of this can easily be seen by the translations of the Christian monks. Upon their discovery and rewriting of Beowulf, the Christian monks felt it necessary to remind readers of their belief in one omnipresent God. Examples of this can be seen throughout the entire poem; just little reminders from the monks that “what God judged right would rule what happened” (page 1241), et cetera. These reminders from the monks also take on deeper meanings, reflecting the beliefs of the Christian faith. On page 1226, while Beowulf is preparing himself to battle the dragon, it is written that he “watched and controlled his God-sent strength and his outstanding natural powers.” This is an example of a strong Christian belief that is shown in the poem – everything humans have is a gift from God, the one God who has all the power in the universe. This line from the monks is enforcing this belief, showing that Christianity was slowly taking over Paganism in Europe. Beowulf is a perfect example of how although Europe was adopting new, monotheistic ideas, they were not ready to release their polytheistic beliefs just yet. Although it may seem controversial at times, it is a wonderful work of literature that demonstrates the opposing viewpoints that were arising in Europe around the time of its composition. Stuck in between Paganism and Christianity, Europe was now composed of a combination of these two very different belief systems, which led to drastic changes throughout the
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