Category Archives: Blog 4 (Jan 8-9) Team Saxon? Team Saint?

kmiller blog 4

I think Beowulf is a saint. Hrothgar’s men welcome him in to the mead hall praising him as heaven sent. They claim, “The holy Creator usward sent him, to West-Dane warriors, I ween, for to render ‘gainst Grendel’s grimness gracious assistance” (1511-1513). Though Beowulf sings his own praises and the feats he accomplished of his own accord when he first reaches Hrothgar’s shores, he eventually turns the glory to the divine.

Later, as he battles with Grendel’s mother, divine intervention clearly saves his skin. Though Beowulf may not have entered the story a complete saint, I do believe the tale is created to spotlight the power of God and bring these ideals to the Saxons. Beowulf, the ultimate Geat hero, is only able to accomplish his task through divine aid. The story essentially shows that the strongest of man cannot overcome the evils of the devil without the help of God.

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jsilverman Blog 4-Pagan Vs Christian

In Beowulf there are many clear cut examples of Paganism and Christianity. While it is tough to decide which one is the more dominating religion, I would say christianity seems more relevant throughout the story. One example is when he says “‘God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip’.” He knows that God has already decided his fate in his battle with Grendel, and he goes with peace. This shows his Christ-like character of being willing to die if that is God’s will. Throughout his fight with Grendel he wants to be fair like a christian. He shows bravery, and faith by showing his fairness in battle. You learn that no one can beat Grendel but him because he has the gifting from god. Because I believe that Beowulf is christian I am on team saint.

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jkaufman6 Blog Post 4

Beowulf was written during a time when pagan traditions were very influential. The story was attended to use pagan stories and creatures to bring the message of Christ. However, I believe Beowulf was a Christian. The story was filled with many Christian themes. For example, before Beowulf challenges Grendel, he is an seen as a unstoppable monster. When he goes to fight Grendel, it is apparent that he has the light and gifting from God. When he goes to kill the dragon he goes with 12 men, which represent the disciples. Only one God sends Beowulf who can be seen as Christ, to save the kingdom and cleanse everyone’s souls. His journey throughout the story can be seen as a transformation from pagan values to Christian values. The author points out throughout the story Beowulf has gained his success through the help of God. It is also important to note the people around him constantly influence with Christian ideas. For example in the story the author states, “O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. 
 Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part,
eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride” (1758-1768). This passage refers to Beowulf’s victory over Grendel’s mother. Hrothgar warns him over the dangers of success and not to lose sight over future perils. He then emphasizes the point of not getting caught up in his pride and focusing on “eternal rewards” rather then a heroic legacy. The author presented the creatures in a very evil way to show the evil of not being a Christian. Beowulf is a noble guy because he presents good Christian values and is with God during his many battles. For this reason I am Team Saint for his shift from pagan to Christian values. Because of his portrayal of the perfect Christian warrior, Beowulf is seen as a hero and a character idolized by its people and the reader.

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VARGAS POST 4

To say Beowulf was pagan or christian is very hard because the book is combines so perfectly with both elements.  We see that the book tries to tie in christian themes with pagan traditions such as monsters and such.  I want to say however that i side with the idea that  Beowulf is christian.  The book ties in both elements of pagan and christian themes well but the fact that God is mentioned throughout the poem.  The fact that Grendel is the decedent of Cain which comes from the Old Testament shows the christian side of it.  When Beowulf goes into to fight the dragon with his 12 men they could be seen as his disciples since Jesus himself had 12 disciples.  Also since Grendel is the descendant of Cain, and Cain in the Old Testament was the first person to commit murder and Grendel in the poem attacked first.  And how Beowulf is always being protected and saved by God shows how God favors him and that Beowulf is a great believer.  I think that maybe Beowulf started out as a pagan character but then changed into a christian character by a monk or a second author and that is why we see both elements combined really well throughout the book.

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Phinney Blog 4

     Although many have argued before the Beowulf was a Christian based off of the scriptural evidence intertwined in the literature, the scriptural passages are all directly from the Old Testament, which was written at a time in which Christianity did not even exist, therefore the evidence practically negates itself. One such example of a reference to the Old Testament is the story of Cain and Abel. This story is not included into the main study of Christianity, the New Testament, therefore it cannot be utilized to support that Beowulf was a Christian.
     So, since Beowulf was not a Christian, he must have been a Pagan. This assertion can be supported by references and evidence from the text. Beowulf is set in a dark atmosphere. There exists an impersonal fate that has complete control on the fortunes of man. “Fate goes ever as fate must,” (line 455). This is a direct quote from Beowulf who later continues to say “fat spares the man it has not already marked.” This concept of fate does not exist in the Christian religion at all but is a Pagan concept. Christians believe that Jesus Christ has their plan mapped out for them and that by following Him, He will lead you to prosperity. Pagans on the other hand believed in this overbearing thought that was all out of chance and fortune.
     It is for the above reasons that I am TEAM SAXON.
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ABebout – Blog 4

 

I can see both the pagan and Christian qualities of Beowulf. In the beginning, he is a brutish, warrior-like character, and at the end of the poem he is a self-sacrificing Christian hero. In Christian literature, an individual can transform into a Christian at any point in his or her life. This transformation is a revelatory event for that individual, and it drastically changes his or her life. I believe that Beowulf converted to Christianity, even though it is not mentioned, in the middle of the poem; there is no other reason to explain his behavior. When he was fighting Grendel and Grendel’s mother, he was fighting for glory and honor; however, when he was fighting the dragon, he instead was sacrificing his life for his friends – which symbolizes Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for all humankind’s souls.

 

A very raw and honest scene of Beowulf confronting death depicts his struggle with the Christian afterlife and trusting the Lord: 

                       That Ecgtheow’s famous offspring would leave

                       The drake-cavern’s bottom; he must live in some region

                       Other than this, by the will of the dragon,

                       As each one of earthmen existence must forfeit.

                                                                                          -Beowulf’s Last Battle, Lines 122-125

Beowulf’s transition from the mortal life to “some region other than this [Earth]”, or heaven, is an event that all Christians face. Before he died, Beowulf knew that he was going to heaven, and knew that he had lived a life as a Christian. This text can be interpreted in different ways, but it is believed that this “region other than this” is heaven, given that there has been evidence that a Christian author has written or edited part of Beowulf.

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slittle blog 4

Beowulf has many aspects in its text that shows both pagan and Christian views.  Although the pagan views are very apparent in the beginning of the story, I feel that Christianity eventually envelops the tale and prevails over the pagan ideals of fate.

“The Almighty Judge
of good deeds and bad, the Lord God,
Head of the Heavens and High King of the World,
was unknown to them. Oh, cursed is he
who in time of trouble had to thrust his soul
into the fire’s embrace, forfeiting help;
he has nowhere to turn. But blessed is he
who after death can approach the Lord
and find friendship in the Father’s embrace.” (180-188)

This quote portrays that the narrator admits feeling sorry for the pagan ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. This is because the narrator felt as though the people who believe in the pagan ways didn’t have the opportunity to receive the Christian God for help.

As one continues reading, there’s some condescension in this admission, because while there is concern for the pagan followers there is also bitterness because of differences in their religious paths. At the same time there is also a genuine sorrow for the people who can never be saved by the Christian God. Finally, I believe that Beowulf would be a saint because of his undying devotion for his people. He entirely fulfills the persona of an epic and tragic hero.

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EClausen Heroes Blog 4

Looking at Beowulf I believe he is a Pagan. Although there are signs that point to him being a Christian I think that the most obvious sign is that Beowulf believes in theses mystical creatures. Paganism today can be classified by whethere a person believes in Gods controlling the fate of others. “Living in this world means waiting for our end”, says Beowulf (1386-1387). I interpreted this to mean that once in this world, you are just waiting for the Gods to kill you off or to do what they want with you. Saying this I also must say that he was a Saint. This could be some what contradicting, but I think that Beoulf was a saint to the people he saved from Grendal. He was looked at from the people as a sort of savior or saint because he was willing to risk his life, although for honor, to try to help these people.

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CWhite27 Blog 4

In the text of Beowulf Paganism and Christianity are both seen through-out the reading. I believe that Beowulf is a Christian because he refers mainly to one God where Pagans refer to multiple Gods. Another reason that I believe that Beowulf is a Christian is because the monster Grendel is based off of Cain from the Old Testament in the bible. Christians are the ones that use the bible because Pagans do not use or read the bible. These are only a few reasons that make me Team Saint in Beowulf. What draws me the most the believe that Beowulf is a Christian is his referencing only one God where if he were a Pagan he would reference more than one God. There are many cases through-out the reading that Beowulf references the Lord or God which leads me to believe that he is a Christian. In the beginning of the story I thought that Beowulf was going to be a Pagan because of the way he did things but towards the end I started to believe that he was more of a Christian than what I had originally thought. This story did include Pagan heroic characteristics but I believe that in the end Beowulf was a Christian and Team Saint.

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Csilverman Blog 4

I am team Saint. I think that Beowulf was definitely a christian in this poem. Beowulf makes mentions of the christian god throughout the poem. One prime example is in the following lines “They thanked God for that easy crossing on a calm sea”. (Beowulf, lines 2227-228).  This shows that they were thanking a single god which rules out that he was a pagan which is a person that believes in several gods. As the poem went on Beowulf started acting more as a leader and not all about himself bragging about his accomplishments. As this story continued Beowulf proved to be more of a leader especially at the end of the story when he sacrificed his life to kill the dragon that was threatening his land. Also Beowulf would always discuss and talk about God every time he had a big victory which shows he is a christian and believes in one god. One example of when he referenced one god was after he killed Grendel. Hrothgar also states that Beowulfs killing of Grendel was achieved “through the power of the lord” and this ties Beowulfs fame back to god. This was actually used more then once if I am not mistaken. Finally  the last quote that makes a clear reference is right before Beowulf is killed by the dragon and he declares his “thankfulness to God the king of glory, our eternal Lord” (Beowulf, Wright ed., p. 93).Overall I think it is clear to say that Beowulf was christian based on all of the references to god, and how he would pretty much dedicate his victories over the sea monsters both to God.

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