ABOUT THE PAGAN WARRIOR
Although there is a Christian influence throughout the story, the characters in Beowulf show many examples of the pagan warrior mentality. The warrior society emphasizes bravery and courage in war, and accepts the inevitability of feuds and battles among different peoples.
Pagan beliefs can be seen throughout this epic poem. The poem begins with the burial of Scyld, in accordance with the pagan rituals. Swords, shields, and armor are placed near the body. This shows the importance of war and battles, and the belief that there is no greater honor than to die in battle for your king and country. The end of the poem shows Beowulf buried in the same manner. Battle gear and the treasure of the slain dragon adorn his grave.
Another example of pagan rituals is given when Grendel terrorizes the people of Denmark. Hrothgar and his counselers worship stone gods in an attempt to rid the country of Grendel.
However, while the poem containes examples of pagan society, the influence of Christianity is also reflected upon Beowulf and the events of the story.
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