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a sin to Eves apology in defense of wom

In one of Aemilia Lanyer's poems, "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women," a reinterpretation of the past has been presented as a means to demand a better present, and future, for women.  Though Lanyer lived when the world frowned upon women writers, she managed to be "one of the few published woman poets of the Renaissance" (p 1059).  This fact of such a great accomplishment for a woman in the world did not, however, changes the forms in which it was acceptable for a woman to write.  Therefore, because Lanyer was limited to write in the form of a journal, letter or devotation, her cry for sexual equality needed to be disguised in one of these forms.  Thus, as a devotation to God, Aemilia Lanyer pushed her work to new heights within a feminist point of view.  To accomplish this push, while staying within the accepted forms of women's writing, Lanyer discusses a few important biblical events.  The earliest of said events being the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God.  Another of Lanyer's topics is the sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate.  Also while speaking on Pilate, Lanyer mentions Saul, who sought the death of David, however briefly.  Aemilia Lanyer has provided a very strong argument, within the confines of her society, for the reasons why women deserve and have earned the right to equality with men.
Amongst Aemilia Lanyer's arguments towards equality, she includes the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God.  It is Lanyer's belief that the blame should not have landed solely upon Eve's shoulders for this fall, but instead Adam should be held most responsible.  Lanyer claims: "But surely Adam cannot be excused" (p 1060  ln 33).  However, Lanyer has been open-minded enough to acknowledge Eve's guilt as well when she says: "Her (Eve's) fault though great," (p 1060 ln 34).  Regardless of Lanyer's admission to Eve's share of the guilt, she continues this thought by stating: "yet he (Adam) was most to blame" (p 1060 ln 34).  To support her blame of Adam for such tremendous faults, Lanyer makes certain that her readers understand the reasons why Eve is innocent.  According to Lanyer, Eve cannot be held accountable because, firstly, she was naive.  She was naive enough to allow herself to be persuaded by the serpent to taste the forbidden fruit.  Eve "had no power to see/ the after-coming harm" (p 1060 ln 21-2).  Lanyer shows that Eve was merely performing her submissive duty towards Adam, by sharing all that she had.  She puts forth this idea by saying: "Giving Adam what she held most dear/ was simply good" (p 1060 ln 20-1).  Therefore, according to Lanyer, Eve's flaw was that she loved Adam enough to be subjective to his power over her and all things.  Eve, Lanyer says, "whose fault was only too much love/ which made her give this present to her dear" (p 1060 ln 57-8) is innocent.  It was within Adam's power to resist Eve's forbidden apple, while she could not; "What weakness (Eve) offered, strength (Adam) might have refused" (p 1060 ln 36).  By Lanyer's claims, Adam should have known better than to eat the apple because unlike Eve, it was Adam that "from God's mouth received that strait command" (p 1060 ln 43).  Lastly, and most importantly, Lanyer states that "if any evil did in her remain,/ Being made of him, he was the ground of all" (p 1061 ln 65-6).  Meaning that any evil and fault that was in Eve originated from Adam, as she had come herself from him, the "ground of all" (p 1060 ln 66).  Therefore, the evil which is actually Adam's releases women of the blame for the fall from grace.
The sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate is another of Lanyer's main topics.  Throughout "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" she pleads with Pilate to follow his heart about Jesus' faultlessness.  She cries "don not in innocent blood inbrue thy hands" (p 1059 ln 6).  Continually Eve's mistake, that of a naive, simple woman is compared with the great evil that Pilate is about to make as he refuses to ... more

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Paganistic Beliefs in Beowolf

The epic poem Beowolf is one of the founding pieces of literature known to man. The author of the poem is unknown. It is believed that he was a monk or someone of the Christian faith. Although during the time of Beowolf there would not have been Christian beliefs. Although in the poem there are more than twenty-five lines of references to the Christian belief. The poem is about good vs. evil, or the heavens vs. hell. Paganistic implications are also in the poem. Paganism would be the true religion in the time when this poem was written, or first told. An idolatrous person is a pagan. A pagan is someone who worships many gods. Pagans believe in fate. They think that your life is inevitably happening as though it has already been determined by a higher source or power. Which religion, paganism or Christianity, is more dominant and decides more in the poem Beowolf.
In Beowolf Grendel is described as a powerful, murderous, loathsome man-eating monster that lives at the bottom of a foul mountain lake. In the poem Grendel is portrayed as one of the devil's creature or the devil himself. The following passage shows us how Grendel was born in evil;
Conceived by a pair of those monsters born
Of Cain, murderous creatures banished
By God, punished forever for the crime
Of Abel's death....(20-23)
Grendel is a horrifying creature.  If he feels love, it is only that of killing people and drinking their blood. There is never a passage describing him as any type of a good being. He is always referred to as a demon, monster, or evil savage. In today's society when anyone thinks of the devil they

Kirkland2
think of dark, gloomy, grotesque places or settings. In the poem Beowolf the only time that Grendel comes out is when there are these same type of settings. This is one description of where Grendel stalked;
That shadow of death hunted in darkness,
Stalked Hrothgar's warriors, old
And young, lying in waiting, hidden
In mist, invisibly following them from the edge
Of the marsh, always there, unseen.(74-78)
Here is another more descriptive passage, "Out from the marsh, from the foot of misty/Hills and bogs, bearing God's Hatred, Grendel came,..."(92-94). When referred to in the bible the devil is everyone's enemy. In this line Grendel is referred to in the same perspective, "So mankind's enemy continued his crimes, "(79). The devil is also thought of as the one and only who is against God and his people. The devil is known to tempt people to do sinful or wrongful things. It is almost like a battle between the devil and the people of the Christian belief. Here is a reference to that battle as if Grendel is the devil, "So Grendel ruled, fought with the righteous,/One against many, and won;..."(59-60). Good also wins a fight in the poem. When Beowolf is battling Grendel, it is as if God is battling the devil. This is seen in these passages,
Screams of the Almighty's enemy sang
In the darkness, the horrible shrieks of pain
And defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel's
Taut throat, hell's captive caught in the arms
Of him who of all the men on earth

Kirkland3
Was the strongest.(467-472)
In the battle between Grendel and Beowolf a paganistic belief comes into play. The death of Grendel is said to be controlled by fate. The poem reads, "...But fate, that night, intended/Grendel to gnaw the broken bones/Of his last human supper...."(416-418). Then a few lines later Christian thoughts are brought back when describing the death of Grendel. Like in these lines, "And yet his time had come, his days/Were over, his death near; down/To hell he would go,..."(486-488). The question arises, is Grendel's death controlled by a paganistic destiny or the Christian belief of what life brings you. Since Grendel was a son Cain, which is a Christian belief, the reader should think that Grendels death was one without fate and only the sinful death he deserved.
The death of Beowolf is much like that of Grendel. They are both described in paganistic and Christian ways. The pagans believe that their life has already ... more

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