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Reading: “Mindful God and One Man’s Daring”: The Christian-Pagan Conflict of Beowulf

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“Mindful God and One Man’s Daring”: The Christian-Pagan Conflict of Beowulf

Author:

Nikola Zupcic

Jesuit High School, US
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Abstract

Composed by an anonymous Christian poet between the seventh and the ninth century, Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem that records the life of the Geat hero, Beowulf and his slaying of three terrible monsters, Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, and a dragon. Despite the story’s original pagan origin, this essay analyzes the extent to which the Christian faith of its poet influences the outcome of these slayings and the overall themes of the poem. An analysis of the characters of Grendel’s Mother and the dragon in particular presents strong parallels between the culture of the Anglo-Saxons and their monsters. Viewed in context of the poet’s Christian faith, these parallels call into question key pillars of the Anglo-Saxon way of life, including their own heroic code. Ultimately, Beowulf extolls the triumph of Christian morality over paganism and encourages reflection on how its morals might be applied to the present day. 

How to Cite: Zupcic, N., 2022. “Mindful God and One Man’s Daring”: The Christian-Pagan Conflict of Beowulf. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 14(2), pp.1–5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.0394
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Published on 02 Jun 2022.
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