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BEOWULF


            
             Beowulf was written in England sometime in the 18th century. "This provides us with an idea of a poem that was .
             written during a time when the society had converted from paganism to Christianity"(Cohen 138). "We know that .
             paganism did exist alongside Christianity during the approximate era that Beowulf was composed"(Hall 61). "The .
             Christian influences were combined with early folklore and heroic legends of dramatic tribes, early Beowulf .
             scholars began to investigate whether or not Christian and biblical influences were added later to originally pagan .
             influences"(Hall 61). "The Christian elements are almost without exception so deeply ingrained in the fabric of the .
             poem that they cannot be explained away as the work of a reviser or later interpolator"(Klaeber 2). The fact that the .
             two values are so closely intertwined in the poem, I believe that is the reason Beowulf has both Christian and pagan .
             influences. .
             The pagan elements in the epic poem Beowulf are evident in the characters superhuman personifications. Beowulf is .
             depicted as a superhero. Beowulf takes it upon himself to save the Danes from Grendel. In his battle with Grendel, .
             Beowulf chooses not to use weapons; he relies on his super strength. During the fight, Beowulf's strength takes over .
             and Beowulf wrestles with Grendel until he is able to rip one of the monster's arms out of its socket. Superhuman .
             feats also appear in the fight with Grendel's mother. When Beowulf enters the water, he swims downward for an .
             entire day before he sees the bottom. He does this without the use of oxygen. During the battle with Grendel's .
             mother, Beowulf realizes that Unferth's sword is useless against the monsters thick skin. He grabs an enormous .
             sword made by giants, almost too heavy to hold and slashes through the monster's body. This superhero strength .
             continues into the battle with the dragon. By this time, Beowulf is an ! .
             old man. He stands up to the dragon and wounds him.


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