Homework Help

Why is there an infusion of Christian elements in the pagan poem, Beowulf?

kalliem20's profile pic

Posted via web

dislike 1 like

Why is there an infusion of Christian elements in the pagan poem, Beowulf?

1 Answer | Add Yours

rrteacher's profile pic

Posted (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Beowulf emerged from a pagan Anglo-Saxon oral tradition, but its popularity continued well into the period when northern Europeans adopted Christianity, around the eighth and ninth centuries. In fact, the earliest surviving manuscript of Beowulf dates to around 1000. This manuscript, which was probably a copy made from older copies, would almost certainly have been executed by a Christian monk. So it is natural that this story, which had its origins in a pagan world, would nevertheless contain strong elements of Christianity. In fact, it is highly possible that Beowulf was intended (or had been intended) to be didactic in nature, containing lessons about Christianity expressed in the older idiom of Anglo-Saxon epic poetry.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes