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  • Line 14.

  • Seriously. Check it out.

  • Before you even meet the main character in this poem, before you really get your bearings,

  • the narrator in this poem busts out with the G-word.

  • Yeah, God.

  • And after He makes His first entrance, Godspecifically the God of Christianitypretty much pops

  • up all over the place in Beowulf.

  • We'll talk about what in heaven's name is up with this motif ... right after this.

  • One of the things that might seem a little strange about Beowulf is the fact that it's

  • a mix of paganism and Christianity.

  • For example, you have mentions of pagan shrines (like in line 175), and plenty of references

  • to fate.

  • On the other hand, what appears even more frequently throughout the poem are references

  • to Christianityto the one God and to the Messiah, or Christ.

  • Just think about King Hrothgar's speech to Beowulf, after Beowulf defeats Grendel.

  • He says, "I suffered a long

  • harrowing by Grendel. But the Heavenly Shepherd can work His wonders always and everywhere

  • ... ... now a man,

  • with the Lord's assistance, has accomplished something

  • none of us could manage before now for all our efforts."

  • This motif of Christianityespecially the characterization of Beowulf as a kind of Messiahis

  • repeated throughout the poem, helping to support the poem's themes of identity and heroism.

  • Beowulf may have the heritage and characteristics of a hero. But the Christian references set

  • him apart. It's almost like there's something divinely-ordained about Beowulf, as though

  • his path maps out the way for all heroes who follow him.

Line 14.

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