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Christianity as a Common Element in Literature The Christian faith is a strong reoccurring element in much of early and contemporary literature Though other early religions such as paganism do come into play Christianity is most prevalent because the early monks were the scribes of civilization often shaping oral legends to fit Christian beliefs This Christian storytelling is obvious in Beowulf and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight In contemporary literature the Christian aspect is obvious in A Prayer for Owen Meany These three works all include bits and pieces of Christianity while drawing slightly upon other aspects most often paganisms idea of fate In Beowulf Beowulf represents good while Grendel his mother and the dragon represent evil This connotation of the characters draws strongly on the idea that Grendel is a descendent of Cain the condemned son of Eve in biblical lore A connection however vague can be made between the maternal relations of Eve and Cain and Grendel and his mother Grendels mother can be considered to personify mans fall from grace and Grendel himself might embody sin Furthermore the dragon Beowulf battles can be said to be a picture of Satan and the dragons tower Hell the heat Of the dragons breath flooding down too hot for anyone to stand a streaming current of fire And smoke that blocked all passage 42 When facing Grendel Beowulf relies on God alone to protect him saying Let me live in greatness And courage or here in this hall welcome My death 31 Beowulf makes mention of fate a non-Christian component of paganism often during this battle The pagan idea of the sun being the symbol of good is also mentioned As the sun had gone he knew that Grendel Would come to Herot would visit that hall When night had covered the earth with its net 31 This display of prevailing pagan beliefs is reminiscent of the time in which Beowulf is
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