Christianity in Beowulf

Essay by reese15High School, 10th grade March 2005

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Beowulf is an epic tale that has been changed over time to try and express a christian moral. While this transformation over time has added a new variable to the plot, it is still impossible to try and erase the original pagan plot completely. It has become evident that the original epic was pagan and had no mention of the biblical references or the christian morality that it contains now. However, it is also evident that the original story dealt with the concept of a higher being or beings.

The overriding christian view has many facets and deals with them all as a new way of proposing christianity into the theme of the story. The reason that Grendel becomes outraged is that the bard in the mead hall is

singing a song that has to do with creation. This shows Grendel's apparent disregard for God and he proceeds to go to the hall and capture men and eat them while they are asleep.

As we progress into the story, we learn that

Grendel carries the curse of Cain with him. "He bore the curse of the seed of Cain/ Whereby God punished the grievous guilt of Abel's murder." Cain was the son of Adam and Eve and was the one who murdered Abel, his brother,

out of a jealous rage for God's favor to Abel. This shows us that Grendel had more than just a dislike for the men, the song was showing Grendel that his ancestor was looked upon as the bad person and was therefore the underlying concept for Grendel's rage. This was the constant reminder to Grendel of his evil past and thus his reasoning for his actions. We learn to see Grendel as a less than human being, but in actuality, he is a monster who...