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LuzCoss

04/06/2016
EnglishIV
BeowulfEssay
ThroughBeowulf,aherointhefaithisshowntobethebestkindofwarrior.Beowulfis
thankfultoGodinhismanybattlesashedefeatsGrendel,Grendelsmother,andtheDragon.Itisno
coincidencethatthemesofGod,fate,andChristianityplaysuchsimilarlyheavyrolesintheepicpoem
Beowulf.SeamusHeaneysfamoustranslationsshowjusthowimportantthesespiritualsthemesare.
ThisversionofthetextwasmeantrepresentChristianityasitwasfirstbeingintroducedtothe
AngloSaxons,oftenreflectingmanystoriesoftheBible.AtatimewheretheAngloSaxonwayswere
strayingawayfromthenorm,Beowulfisaperfecthistoricaldemonstrationofhowthepeopleofthe
timesweresofaithdriven.Theepicpoemissupposedtoshowhowfaithworks:lookingtoGodfor
helpinallsituations.
Theobstaclesinthisepiccomeintheformofmonsters.ThepeopleunderHrothgarsrulehad
endured12wintersofGrendelsrelentlessattacks,Grendelsmotherseeksrevenge,andanancient
dragonposesathreatwhenBeowulftakesthekingspositioninhisoldage.Probablythemost
importantvillaininthisstoryisGrendel,sincehewasathreatwithaseriousongoingtrackrecordof
causingthemosttrauma.Heshouldalsobeconsideredthemostimportantmonsterbecausehewasthe
firstonethatsetthisjourneyonitscourse.BeowulfsclashwithGrendelmayremindoneofhowsimilar
thissituationistotheDavidandGoliathstoryoftheBible,asshownin1Samuel17.Inverse45,David
tellsGoliathyoucomeagainstmewithswordandspearandjavelin,butIcomeagainstyouinthe
nameoftheLORD.(NewInternationalVersion).Goliathmayseemliketoobigofachallenge,but

DavidtakesonthetaskwithGod.WhileBeowulfmayseemlikeamoreidealherototakeonathreat
thanDavidis,heislikeDavidinthattheyareabletotakedownwhatotherskilledwarriorswerenot
abletodo.Theyarealsophysicallyoutmatchedbutarestillabletopullthroughbecauseoftheirfaith.
GrendelandGoliathsymbolizethisbigchallengethatcanonlybehandledwiththegraceofGod(at
leastthatswhatChristiansbelieve).BeowulftakesonGrendelwithhisbarehands,andDavidisableto
takedownGoliathwithastonethatheslingsintoGoliathshead(nottomention,bothGrendeland
Goliathgettheirheadsslicedoff).InBeowulf,thepraiseforthisvictorygoestoGod,as
demonstratedwhenitisstatedNowHolyGod/has,inhisgoodness,guided[Beowulf]here/tothe
WestDanes,todefendusfromGrendel(381383).Asthestorywouldhaveit,itwasallpartof
Godsplanforthepeopletoendurethissufferingbeforearealwarrior(savior)wouldcomeandcleanse
theearthfromfilth.WhenBeowulftakesonGrendelsmother,healsotakesoffherheadasaprizeto
presenttoGodasathanksanddeclaresitashepraisesGodinHisheavenlyglorythat[he]livedto
beholdthisheaddrippingbloodandthataftersuchharrowing,Icanlookituponintriumphat
last(Beowulf17791781).ThebloodissymbolismthatistogivethankstoGod.
NoobstacleistoobigforBeowulfinthisstorybecauseheisabletorecognizeGodastheone
whoassistsinvictory.Beowulfspraiseisagreatwaytodemonstratethetimesofthepeopleandtheir
newlyfoundfaith.AsBeowulfschallengesarelikethosestatedintheBible,theintentofthese
translatededitionswastobringpeopletothefaithbecausethisformofentertainmentwouldremind
themofscripture.

WorksCited
"1Samuel17:45."TheBible:NewInternationalVersion.ColoradoSprings,CO:InternationalBible
Society,1984.N.pag.Print.