How does the setting (specifically the time period) influence the actions of Beowulf? Why does Beowulf decide to fight Grendel?

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The setting influences Beowulf in a few different ways. First, we see the portrayal of religion. Although the Anglo-Saxon world was largely Christian at the time, the epic includes both pagan and Christian rituals and beliefs. Beowulf fights Grendel because he wants to be a hero, he wants lasting fame.