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Scholars have argued about the religious stance of the epic poem Beowulf for centuries Although the man who put the poem down on paper known as the Beowulf poet was a devout Christian the actual poem itself is pagan There are many clues in the epic that lead us to this conclusion such as the numerous references to pagan symbols namely the symbol of fate Also the central idea of revenge in the poem opposes the ideas of Christianity The poem also contains many breaches of the Ten Commandments which prove that the story is not Christian However the biggest clue to the paganism of Beowulf is the scene that contains the burial of Beowulf and the building and idolization of the tower all of which go directly against the Christian religionPagan symbols such as ravens dragons and monsters and poison can be found throughout the epic of Beowulf The raven was a symbol from Norse mythology it was the messenger for a war god named Odin We find the reference to this pagan symbol after Beowulf defeats Grendels mother He and the Geats slept till a black-feathered raven sang his cheerful song Norton 1587 This reference to such a pagan symbol is just the first piece of evidence for the paganism of the epic We also know that Beowulf is a story based on the defeat by a warrior hero of two monsters and a dragon However dragons and monsters are not part of the Christian religion so if the story were Christian there would be no Grendel his mother or the dragon at all Yet the entire story is based around these three characters We cannot dismiss the fact that these beings are present in the story nor can we ignore the fact that these beings are in no way Christian Finally the allusion to poison helps prove that this epic is pagan as well Beowulf is killed by
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