Have you of all time had the privilege of reading George Orwell ‘s fresh known as Animal Farm? If so, you are likely good cognizant that it is a book that reflects the authorities and leading of the yearss in which it was written. Many people believe that Beowulf is similar to Animal Farm in that it besides reflects a portion of the civilization of its twenty-four hours. But alternatively of reflecting authorities, like Animal Farm, Beowulf reflects the alterations in the spiritual civilization of England. While depicting the background of Beowulf, Burton Raffel points out, “ When Beowulf was composed, England was altering from a heathen to a Christian civilization. ” Therefore, Beowulf signifies the Christian civilization that is get the better ofing and replacing the heathen civilization, which is signified by Grendel, his female parent, and the firedrake. Beowulf, the verse form, may hold been written by a pagan ( which is a argument for another paper ) but Beowulf the character was a Christian.
Raffel ‘s point can be taken a measure farther. Not merely did Beowulf typify the Christian civilization, but he besides symbolized Christ himself. Along with that comes the thought that Grendel, his female parent, and the firedrake non merely typify the heathen civilization but besides Satan, the Satan, or merely evil. The most obvious act of exposing Christ seen in Beowulf is when he sacrificed his ain life to kill the firedrake and guarantee the safety of his people. The following illustration is non rather every bit obvious as the first but is still sensible. Throughout the full verse form, Grendel and his ma are both referred to as the Satan or a demon several times. “ So Hrothgar ‘s work forces lived happy in his hall/ Till the monster stirred, that devil, that fiend, Grendelaˆ¦ ” ( Raffel 39 ) . Later on, after Grendel attacked and killed some soldiers in Herot, the “ name naming ” continues: “ In Herot, a mighty prince mourning/ The destiny of his lost friends and comrades, / Knowing by its paths that some devil had torn/ His followings apart. ” ( Raffel 40 ) . Subsequently on when Hrothgar tells Beowulf of what his people have seen, they describe Grendel and his female parent in the undermentioned manner: “ And they ‘ve said to my wise work forces that, every bit good as they could see, / One of the Satans was a female animal. ” ( Raffel 49 ) .
Sometimes the writer is non as flagrant in his or her mentions to Grendel and his ma as the Satan or devils. Sometimes the writer merely hints at the thought. Speaking of Grendel he says, “ populating down in the darkness, ” where the “ darkness ” is mentioning to hell ( Raffel 39 ) . The most obvious intimation at the thought is when Grendel will non touch Hrothgar ‘s throne because it was protected by God: “ Though he lived/ In Herot, when the dark hid him, he never/ Dared to touch King Hrothgar ‘s glorious/ Throne, protected by God – God, / Whose love Grendel could non cognize. ” ( Raffel 41 ) . This point can be farther understood after reading James 2:19. Grendel knows of God yet lives in fright of him. The last intimation the writer gives is when he calls Grendel ‘s female parent ‘s cave “ the God-cursed roof ” to one time once more have the topographic point where they live resemble Hell ( Heaney 211 ) .
Sing the fact that Beowulf defeated these devils or Satans pushes the thought even further that he is a Christ figure throughout the verse form. Now believing realistically, how could a narrative about a heathen who resembles Christ last for several centuries if ne’er written down? It merely could non hold. Realistically, for an unwritten narrative to last so long, the Christ figure must hold deliberately been depicted by a Christ follower or else the narrative would hold fundamentally no significance or value to anyone at all and hence be forgotten.
Throughout the text, God, every bit good as many Biblical characters and events, are mentioned and recognized and even prayed to by Beowulf himself. In the really beginning, literally the 7th line of the verse form, the Creation is spoken of: “ The Almighty doing the Earth, shaping/ These beautiful fields marked off by oceans, / Then proudly puting the Sun and moon/ To glow across the land and light it ” ( Raffel 39 ) . Not excessively long after that, Cain and Abel are mentioned: “ Conceived by a brace of those monsters born/ Of Cain, homicidal animals banished/ By God, punished everlastingly for the crime/ Of Abel ‘s decease. ” ( Raffel 39-40 ) . The most important section is when Beowulf prays to God and thanks him for his “ booty ” or hoarded wealth: “ For this, this gold, these gems, I thank our Father in Heaven, Ruler of the Earthaˆ¦ ” ( Raffel 59 ) . This shows us non merely that Beowulf acknowledged God ‘s mere being but that he besides considered Him the “ Ruler of the Earth ” and knew that He was the 1 who brought him all of his wealth. Yes, it is true that even Satan himself believes in God ‘s being and that He is the “ Ruler of the Earth. ” In James 2:19 the Bible provinces, “ You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the devils believe that – and frisson. ” But Beowulf ‘s belief in and of God goes farther and deeper than the devil ‘s belief. This is backed up later on when Beowulf ‘s infinity in Eden is mentioned.
Please make non take my word and my interlingual rendition of the verse form entirely. This is non merely a personal sentiment. Other literature experts have said the exact same thing that I am. Larry D. Benson suggested that the heathen stuff was added to Beowulf in order to elicit understanding ( Ogilvy 169 ) . An anon. pupil wrote a short paper on the affair. Speaking of the verse form Beowulf, he said, “ Although demoing marks of being a heathen narrative, Beowulf is chiefly a Christian narrative. ” The statement for Beowulf as a Christian verse form goes manus in manus with my first point that it signifies the spiritual and cultural alterations that were taking topographic point in its clip.
Now here are a twosome of the top statements that try to state Beowulf is non a Christian. Arguably the most popular statement is that Beowulf does non believe in God but alternatively believes in destiny. Person that wrote a paper on Beowulf, who is known as Ultisch said, “ Many times throughout Beowulf, the writer will cite destiny, while speech production of Godaˆ¦ ” To paraphrase, they are stating that, yes, Beowulf does advert destiny, but when he does, he is mentioning to God ‘s ultimate sovereignty and control and non something of pure opportunity or fortune. Some people besides like to reason that Beowulf ‘s decease bed wish to see the hoarded wealths he merely earned, alternatively of his household or something of more long term value, is proof that he was non a Christian. “ As he dies, Beowulf asks Wiglaf to convey him the hoarded wealth that the firedrake was guarding. ” ( Raffel 58 ) . Now think moderately. How can this logically prove that he was non a Christian? He is merely being sensible and realistic. He knows he does non hold adequate clip left and that he can non see his household. In their book, J.D.A Ogilvy and Donald C. Baker say, “ Beowulf is deceasing – why non see the hoarded wealth? ” Even if this was non the instance and Beowulf was being greedy, it still would non turn out anything. Is a adult male ‘s greed cogent evidence that he is an disbeliever? The obvious reply is no. In Roman 3:23 the Bible says, “ For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. ” Merely because a adult male sinned does non intend he is non a Christian.
In decision, Beowulf was a Christian adult male and did travel to heaven in the terminal. Yes, there is more cogent evidence for that excessively. At the terminal of the verse form, Beowulf ‘s decease is described in this manner: “ His psyche left his flesh, flew to glorification. ” ( Raffel 59 ) . The word “ glorification ” here rather evidently means Eden. Besides, before he fights the firedrake, Beowulf says, “ I ‘ve ne’er known fright, ” ( Raffel 54 ) stating that he is non afraid to decease. This shows us that he knows his infinity is secure in the Lord. This proves that Beowulf ‘s belief in and of God goes farther than that of the devils and that he genuinely is a kid of God.