Christian Elements In Beowulf
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Christian Elements in Beowulf
Beowulf is one of the most heroic poems in the history of English literature written by Christian Monk. The poem is based on the life of a brave warrior whose name was Beowulf. In this poem, Beowulf’s different stages of life are discussed. He was described as a legendary hero as a young man, and after fifty years he was described as a great king of Geats. There are many Christian elements that are shown in this poem through the life of Beowulf’s life. It was shown in this poem that God looks over Beowulf and offers him protection during his adventures. He believes that God is looking for him and will help him in his adventures. He was not afraid of death because he believes that God will make sure of his survival in his adventures (Heaney, n.p).
In the whole poem, the author described different Christian elements and Beowulf's belief in God. Beowulf thanks God for his victories throughout the poem. The author always credited God in this poem for whatever Beowulf accomplish in his life. He explained that anything could be done with the help of God and without the help of God results would have been different for Beowulf in his life. However, with a theme, a value that conflicts in this poem is the pride of Beowulf. He was not humble at all, and in the end, his pride becomes the reason for his downfall (Damico et al., n.p).
There are different Christian elements which are discussed in this poem which include courage, religion, strength, and skill. According to Christian's belief, God is the only one who can give one skill, power and bravery. In this poem, Good vs. evil is discussed using the example of the battle between Beowulf and three monsters that explain that Beowulf's faith in God helped him conquer the good over evil with the help of God. The most discussed Christian element in this poem is that one can only survive only through the protection of God. In this poem author describes that man should remain humble in every situation and don't become unselfish; he will get the reward from God.
In the whole story, Beowulf admits that his only protector is God and without the help of God he is nothing. Beowulf's battle with Grendel's mother explains that he would not be able to get success in the fight if God has not protected him. However, according to Christain belief, a warrior must earn the protection of God by showing his courage, pride, honesty, and true values.
“The Wielder of Men granted me that I should see hanging on the wall a fair, ancient great-sword (Niles et al., n.p).”
God not only provides one with protection and success but he also responsible for the wealth of an individual (Christianity In Beowulf, n.p). During fight with the Grendel's mother in her cave, Beowulf suddenly saw a great weapon which was hanging on a wall and he thought that it was not his ability to find the weapon it was help from God, without God he would not have found that weapon and fight Grendel's mother in her cave (The Influence Of Paganism Vs. The Faith Of Christianity, n.p).
"The truth is clear; Almighty God rules over mankind and always has (Niles et al., n.p).”
Later in the story, Hrothgar who was the King of the Danes and built Heorot explains to Beowulf that even one cannot become a King without the help of God. God is the one and only who gives an individual everything. He can give power to someone, and he can get the power from someone at any time. God has the power to do anything at any time. Sometimes those things happen in someone's life which is impossible, and these all are because of God. A king can only rule some people, and his power is just an illusion. The true and main power lies only with God. Anything which a man enjoys on this earth is because of God.
“The Almighty Judge of good deeds and bad, the Lord God, Head of the Heavens and High King of the World, was unknown to them. Oh, cursed is he who in time of trouble had to thrust his soul into the fire's embrace, forfeiting help; he has nowhere to turn. But blessed is he who after death can approach the Lord and find friendship in the Father's embrace (Niles et al., n.p).”
Hrothgar tells Beowulf that the success we earn on the earth which is given by God should be managed with humbleness. Otherwise, King himself will be responsible for his downfall, not the God. Life is a gift from God for human beings in the form of a loan, and in return, God only wants humbleness from human beings. In this story, Hrother tells Beowulf that a good king is the one who is willing to be humble with his people and give precious gifts to its people to ensure that people don’t fear him, they only fear God (Christian Elements In Beowulf, n.p).
The story is all about reminding Beowulf about the difference between pride and humility. He was shown at one stage as a man who was very humble and believed God in every situation. On the other hand, he was reminded that a man could lose anything due to his pride. Beowulf appears to have achieved tough stability between pride and humbleness. He was shown as a mixed character in the whole story. Beowulf is known as the humble servant of the Christians as well as the heroic warrior of the pagans (Christian And Pagan Symbols In Beowulf, n.p).
The quote is used to describe that God is the creator of all the things and he is the only one who can manage all things. “How the Almighty had made the earth a gleaming plain girdled with waters; in His splendour He set the sun and the moon to be earth's lamplight, lanterns for men, and filled the broad lap of the world with branches and leaves; and quickened life in every other thing that moved (Niles et al., n.p).”
The message which this story portrays is that a person should always remain humble in every situation and trust God in every situation in life. There are ups and downs in life, but these all are to test the human beings that how humbly they react in any situation. A person must believe in God when they are falling down and always perceive that everything is due to the will of God. Without a will of God, one cannot get success and cannot achieve his goals (Melrose et al., n.p).
One must remain humble when God gives them some precious gift and say thanks to God instead of showing pride to others for their achievements. God has the will to change the fate of human being at any time. He is responsible for giving life and death to the one. God is the only one who can give strength to an individual to fight someone. The story is whole about the Christian elements and how they play a fundamental role in the life of someone.
"Christian Elements In Beowulf." Retrieved from Csis.pace.edu. N. p., 2019.
Niles, John D., ed. Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition. WW Norton & Company, 2008.
Melrose, Robin. Warriors and Wilderness in Medieval Britain: From Arthur and Beowulf to Sir Gawain and Robin Hood. McFarland, 2017.
The Influence Of Paganism Vs. The Faith Of Christianity ACE5W Great Works Of Literature: Fantasy Fiction." 5wfantasyfiction.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu. N. p., 2019.
Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf. Faber & Faber, 2009.
Damico, Helen. Beowulf and the Grendel-kin: Politics and poetry in eleventh-century England. West Virginia University Press, 2014.
"Christianity In Beowulf: Themes & Examples - Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.Com." Study.com. N. p., 2019.
"Christian And Pagan Symbols In Beowulf - A Research Guide For Students." A Research Guide for Students. N. p., 2018.
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