Beowulf Questions and Answers

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How can the tensions between Christianity and paganism be seen in Beowulf?

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The last paragraph of Chapter II articulates the Beowulf poet's—who most likely was a monk in an English monastery—emphasis on the value of the new religion, Christianity, in a world in which some are still drawn to pagan beliefs. The poet clearly states that those who do not embrace Christianity are destined to burn in Hell and that salvation is found with God. The tension between Christianity and pagan beliefs is evident throughout the poem and reflects the poet's constant awareness that he is interpreting an essentially pagan world to a Christian audience.

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