Beowulf Essay: Overview

James Robinson 3/18/13 English 12 Beowulf Argument In the poem Beowulf it has been argued whether or not Beowulf shows pagan or Christian values or even both. however if one reads the poem and analysis closely you can see that Beowulf upholds both Christian and pagan values. The bravery and courage that Beowulf became so famous for shows his heroic and pagan values however he also shows Christian values by protecting and treating all of his people equally and by fighting the dragon alone and giving the gold to the people even if he did survive the final battle with the dragon.
The dragon that Beowulf fights to the death at the end of the poem shows Beowulf’s Christian values because Beowulf agrees to fight the dragon by himself as a selfish act of bravery and love for his people and men. Beowulf tell his men not to help him because he knows the danger he must face and he knows it could be his last battle and doesn’t want to put any of his men in danger. In Ogilvy’s Beowulf’s Heroic death Ogilvy agrees that Beowulf fights the dragon alone “in sake of his men. Beowulf also tells his people not to bury the dragons treasure with him if he dies but to instead give it back to the people. This shows Beowulf compassion and kindness towards his people. If Beowulf only showed Pagan values then he would not have fought the dragon alone and he would have kept the treasure for himself to help better his glory and fame . However Beowulf also shows his pagan values because he boast about killing Grendel which a true Christian would not boast about killing anyone.
Beowulf also shows Pagan values because he does his carries out his duty as king to protect the people even though it means his death which a true pagan hero would do. He also tells his men to divide the treasure between the people if he does not survive the battle between the dragon because Pagans believed in gift giving and gold sharing as part of their culture. In Goldsmith’s The corruption of Beowulf goldsmith agrees that Beowulf shows his pagan values of bravery, strength and duty as a king “his motives where arrogant elf-confidence, and if there is added to it a desire for gain, the hero’s bold action is spiritually perilous. Overall this shows Beowulf Pagan values along with his Christian values and how there uphold. The overall understanding of Beowulf is that it could be argued either way of the Pagan and Christian values. However Beowulf really shows us both Pagan and Christian values you just have to analyze the reading for traits that show both the Pagan and Christian values of Beowulf.

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