Religious Beliefs Observed in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


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Religious Beliefs Observed in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The significance of religious beliefs in the tales of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, portrayed diverse roles in each story. Although it was clear that God was highly-favored and worshipped in each of these tales, the abundance of praising Him was greatly differed. Both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the green knight are written to be believers of God and his mighty works and miracles. In this passage, the significance of religious beliefs in these tales are explained by presenting how Beowulf and the characters of his time praised the Lord for all of his works, even those that pertained to evil doings, Sir Gawain praised the Lord for blessings and strength instead of his unfortunate times, and how each character was destined to become more like Christ, living their lives being heroes and God-like.
In the tale of Beowulf, he acknowledged his strong faith in God, regardless of the situation. The tale describes, repeatedly, how God is in every situation that the characters have embarked on, which is described in this statement, " the Heavenly Shepard can work HIS wonders always and everywhere" (pp.51, 929). The author indistinctly explains by saying, "The Almighty Judge of good deeds and bad."(pp.36, ln.180) Even when they were faced with the evil's of Grendel and the monsters, whom in this story was considered to be Satan, which is explained as, "Cain's clan , whom the Creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts" (pp.35, ln.106). Regardless of the situation, God was acknowledged as a miracle worker, a judge, or even just to praise him for the punish of the evil doers, and rewarding and protecting those that try to help others. However, in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, I noticed that the religious beliefs were not as open however they were present, as in this statement saying "Honored God humbly at the high altar," (pp170.594). Praising the Lord was used to pray for protection before a fight or whichever blessings that have been bestowed upon him by God or his people. Sir Gawain was continuously being blessed for protection, such as when the king , "gives him God's blessing, and graciously prays that his heart and his hand may be hardy both" (pp.166, ln.370), or when the Green Knight states, " Sir Gawain, by God, I rejoice that your fist shall fetish this favor I seek" (pp.

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166,ln.390). It wasn't until Sir Gawain was alone, that he realized that God was all he had by stating, "He had no mate but his mount , over mountain and plain, Nor man to say his mind to but almighty God" (pp.173.695). At that point I believe he realized how blessed he was.
These two heroic figures were destined to be a savior for there people. Beowulf were basically raised to believe that they were sent by God to handle the evil doers on the earth. Beowulf was considered, " a comfort sent by God to the Nation," (pp.32.ln.13), in which he was sent as a savior to his people, somewhat like Jesus. The author states that Beowulf was heaven sent by saying " long times and troubles they'd come through without at leader; so the Lord of Life, the glorious Almighty, made this man renowned"(pp.33,ln.15). Beowulf was a prince that was to be better than his father, in which he would become and the people would praise him for his works that could never be achieved, "But now a man, with the Lord's assistance, has accomplished something none of us could manage before now," (pp.51,ln.938),as to say that he was the only person of that time to be so blessed. Sir Gawain however, was not born into majesty, although he was greatly blessed and highly favored by his people. The author states, "Great is God's grace, and goodly indeed, That a guest such as Gawain he guides to us here When men sit and sing of their Savior's birth in view "(pp.177, 920). When the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight states, "Had he not borne himself bravely, and been on God's side, He had met with many mishaps and mortal harms," (pp.173, 724) to me explains how even though he was not born into Holy royalty per say, he was born to overcome trials and fight, knowing that God was on his side.
In conclusion, these two heroic epic poems expressed strong religious beliefs in Christianity. Beowulf openly expressed his beliefs in Christ repeatedly throughout the story, where as Sir Gawain was not as open, however, it was well known that he was blessed as warrior. These heroes were also destined to become the savior of their time, with God in control of their lives. The tales of these epic adventures acknowledged great faith in God, which to me, informs readers that God handles all kinds of miracles and sends us heroes to give us hope and faith of his good works.


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