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j r r tolkien Christian Elements In Beowulf

Christian Elements in Beowulf
The praised epic poem, Beowulf, is the first great heroic poem in English
literature. The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young,
adult life and into his old age. As a young man, Beowulf becomes a legendary hero when
he saves the land of the Danes from the hellish creatures, Grendel and his mother. Later,
after fifty years pass, Beowulf is an old man and a great king of the Geats. A monstrous
dragon soon invades his peaceful kingdom and he defends his people courageously, dying
in the process. His body is burned and his ashes are placed in a cave by the sea. By
placing his ashes in the seaside cave, people passing by will always remember the
legendary hero and king, Beowulf. In this recognized epic, Beowulf, is abound in
supernatural elements of pagan associations; however, the poem is the opposite of pagan
barbarism. The presentation of the story telling moves fluidly within Christian
surroundings as well as pagan ideals.
Beowulf was a recited pagan folklore where the people of that time period
believed in gods, goddesses, and monsters. Its significance lies in an oral history where
people memorized long, dense lines of tedious verse. Later, when a written tradition was
introduced they began to write the story down on tablets.
The old tale was not first told or invented by the commonly known, Beowulf poet.
This is clear from investigations of the folk lore analogues. The manuscript was written
by two scribes around AD 1000 in late West Saxon, the literary dialect of that period. It
is believed that the scribes who put the old materials together into their present form
were Christians and that his poem reflects a Christian tradition. The first scribe copied
three prose pieces and the first 1,939 lines of Beowulf while the second scribe copied the
rest of Beowulf and Judith. In 1731, a fire swept through the Cottonian Library,
damaging many books and scorching the Beowulf codex. In 1786-87, after the
manuscript had been deposited in the British Museum the Icelander, Grinur Jonsson
Thorkelin, made two transcriptions of the poem for what was to be the first edition, in
1815 (Clark, 112-15).
Beowulf is a mixture of pagan and Christian attitudes. Heathen practices are
mentioned in several places, such as vowing of sacrifices at idol fanes, the observing of
omens, the burning of the dead, which was frowned upon by the church. The frequent
allusions to the power of fate, the motive of blood revenge, and the praise of worldly
glory bear testimony to the ancient background of pagan conceptions and ideals.
However, the general tone of the epic and its ethical viewpoint are predominantly
Christian . There is no longer a genuine pagan atmosphere. The sentiment has been
softened and purified. The virtues of moderation, unselfishness, consideration for others
are practiced and appreciated. Beowulf is a Christian reworking of a pagan poem with a
string of pagan lays edited by monks; it is the work of a learned but inaccurate Christian
antiquarian (Clark, 112).
The author has fairly exhaulted the fights with Grendel, his mother, and the
dragon into a conflict between powers of good and evil. The figure of Grendel, while
originally an ordinary Scandinavian troll is conceived as an impersonation of evil and
darkness, even an incarnation of the Christian devil. Grendel is a member of the race of
Cain, from whom all misshapen and unnatural things were spawned (Kermode, 42)
such as ogres and elves. He is a creature dwelling in the outer darkness, a giant and
cannibal. When he crawls off to die, he is said to join the route of devils in hell. The
story of a race of demonic monsters and giants descended from Cain. It came form a
tradition established by the apocryphal Book of Enoch and early Jewish and Christian
interpretations of Genesis 6:4, There were giants in the earth in those days, and also
afterward, when the sons of God had relations with the daughters of men, who bore
children to them (Holland Crossley, 15).
Many of Grendels appellations are unquestionable epithets of Satan such as
enemy of mankind, Gods adversary, the devil in hell, and the hell slave. His
actions are represented in a manner suggesting the conduct of the evil one, and he dwells
with his mother in a mere which conjures visions of hell.
The depiction of the mere is the most remarkable because it is a conceptual
landscape made fearsomely realistic ... more

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The hobbit

By: mark

The Hobbit The author of this book is J.R.R. Tolkien. this book is a science fiction and has 287 pages also it is set on its own planet. This book is about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins that gets himself into quite an adventure. In the adventure he meets all sorts of interesting people, Like elves, dragons and giant spiders. I think this book has made me better and wiser like by helping me not to rush into stuff. other wise i dont think it has helped me that much, i dont think books affect my life that much. My favorte part was on page15 when the author was telling what a hobbit hole looked like he said Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, that means comfort. I think the best thing about this book is how the author discribes everything so well like on page 206 he says There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. I really liked this book and am glad i read it. I have read this entire book

Word Count: 226 ... more

j r r tolkien

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