Essay debating the battle of paganism versus Christianity in the epic Beowulf.
Beowulf: Paganism Vs. Christianity
Beowulf was written in around the 8th century when basically Paganism was being forgotten and Christianity was being brought in. So, this is when this is during the time period where people were converting to Christianity. There is a lot of Paganism and Christianity mixed together throughout the story of Beowulf, but, there is more evidence that is pointed towards Paganism.
One Pagan example is that Beowulf is no ordinary human being. In his battle against Grendel, Beowulf insisted that he would not use any type of weaponry. Instead he had fought with his two bare hands and all of his might. Also, when he went to visit Grendel’s mother, he had swam down to the entrance of her cave which took a full day to get to the bottom. No normal human can stay underwater for 24 hours.
He also does a lot of anti-christian activities. In the story, he kills creatures which is breaking one of the ten commandments, and he does everything for fame and fortune. He doesn’t do it to protect the people, he just wants to get his name known. The story was also re-wrote by a monk, so you never know what was actuality and what was changed around. Beowulf also seems to pray to several Gods multiple times during the poem.
In most Pagan stories, a dragon (Grendel) is the common problem and usually ends up being slayed by the Heroic icon (Beowulf.) The author depicts that it’s a battle of good versus evil, which is an example of old folklore during the age of paganism.
So, although there is a combination of Paganism and Christianity throughout the epic, I believe that the conclusion of the epic is more revolved around Paganism due to the fact of the inhumane powerful abilities of Beowulf.