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Christianity and Danish Paganism The story of Beowulf shows the effect of the spread of Christianity in the early Danish paganistic society that values heroic deeds and bravery above all else The mythical creatures that Beowulf kills with his supernatural strength make the story into an epic celebrating the life of a great hero However blending in among Beowulfs triumphs against the three key creatures we also see Christian virtues being instilled upon the listeners The good qualities of loyalty humility sacrifice for the good of others and sympathy for those less fortunate are seen woven into the text as well as the negative consequences from greed and pride The characters of Grendel his mother and the dragon are tools used by the author to teach values but also to rejoice in the legendary success of Beowulf The menacing character of Grendel is introduced as horrible but his humanistic side is shown as well As a result Grendels character helps further the Christian influence on the book as well as paint Beowulf as a magnificent hero Grendel is first described as the creature of evil grim and fierce and was quickly ready savage and cruel and seized from the first thirty thanes Tuso 3 Beowulf can be interpreted as a heroic epic when Grendel is seen as a ravenous monster because it makes Beowulf appear even more spectacular for defeating the horrendous monster However there is a strong Christian influence as well because Grendel is a descendent of Cain and is therefore rejected by God and must live in suffering When Grendel appears he is wearing Gods anger which is the opposite of the thanes who celebrate gods grace in their victories in the hall Heorot Tuso 13 The reader feels pity for Grendel when it understood that he hates Heorot because it is everything that he lacks Grendel is even described as an unhappy creature while the thanes are regarded as living in
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