Beowulf as a Pagan Hero College
The epic poem Beowulf highlights the role of God as a guiding protector who provides earthly wealth and well-being to the people of 6th century Denmark and Sweden. Beowulf and his people worship a pagan god who serves to keep humility and peace. The Anglo-Saxons were Pagan at the time in which this epic poem is set, and they later became Christianized as Beowulf continued to be passed down orally. Beowulf was transcribed by Christians which signifies why Christian themes are visible throughout the poem. Many perceive Beowulf to be a Christian hero who is fighting for the sake of the Christian God, but Beowulf’s practice of pagan traditions and efforts to preserve his earthly glory after death suggest otherwise.
Whenever any great man accomplishes heroic deeds, the narrator attributes his power to God’s favor and His divine plan. God is praised and acknowledged for each circumstance that is seen as a blessing. For instance, Hrothgar praises God when he proclaims “Holy God of His Grace has sent him to us West-Danes, as I hope, against the terror of Grendel” (Beowulf 9). God provided a hero when the Danes were in dire need of a savior. By attributing heroic success to God, the Danes and the Geats exhibit humility. The narrator’s...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 860 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6522 literature essays, 1773 sample college application essays, 268 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in