Othello Essay, Research Paper
Beowulf, the story written by an unknown poet, is a contrasting mixture of both Christian and pagan aspects that frequently refer to the Old Testament of the bible. These elements which are intertwined, tell the story of monsters and a tragic hero who has virtues of courage and loyalty, but who also bears sinful morals.
It is difficult to determine the angle between good and evil within Beowulf due to its several references to Christian traditions and sinful behaviors. The story is written with many referrals to heaven, hell and God. The monster, Grendel, for example, has an ancestral connection with the biblical character Cain. “From him (Cain) sprang many a devil (monsters such as Grendel and his mother) sent by fate.” This quotation can be debated in two different ways with its reference to both Christian and pagan aspects such as Cain, fate and monsters. Nothing is determined by fate in the bible and everything is pre-determined by God in the religious view. Monsters are in close connection with this comment; there is no such thing. These two attributes defend the contradiction that was stated earlier; while there are references to Cain and the devil (Christian aspects) in this quotation, it is stated that the monsters are sent by fate (pagan aspects).
The main character, Beowulf, frequently gives praise to God for his abilities and courage. It is discussed that Beowulf trusts on his “great strength, the large gift God has given him? and relied on the Almighty for favor, comfort and help.” This super hero archetype can be commended for his bravery to go against forceful monsters and to save societies from harm. The problem with this are his reasons for wanting to do these courageous acts. He does not lead this Christian life to please God, but in contrast, he constantly attempts to gain fame and fortune to become powerful. Once again, here is the contrast between good and evil. Beowulf appears to be a noble person, but there is that greedy, selfish attitude that persists in him.
Beowulf is a story that is related to Christian and pagan views. On one hand, there is loyalty and acclamation towards God, while on the other, there are several references made about monsters and sin. In conclusion with these two different aspects, the story cannot be accredited to either the Christian or pagan fellowships.