Beowulf by Robert Nye

Beowulf by Robert Nye

“Beowulf” is a novel authored by Robert Nye and is about Paganism Beowulf and Christianity Beowulf that was written in England sometimes in 8th century that explains the time when the people were being converted to Christianity from paganism. Beowulf has both paganism and Christianity influences because the paganism and Christianity are closely interrelated in that poet

The reasons for tension in the Christian poet and pagan story are the belief in the superhuman personifications. Beowulf moves forward to defend and save the Danes from Grendel in which Beowulf is displayed as a hero. In the course of the fight, Beowulf takes control of the wrestling and is able to remove the Grendel’s arm from its socket after having made a decision not to use any weapon.

Superhuman personification also appears when Grendel’s mother fights with Beowulf, when he, Beowulf goes into the water and swims without using oxygen. During the fight with this monster, Grendel’s mother, Beowulf realizes that the monsters skin is too thick and he grabs a sword meant to be used by the giant which he used to cut the monster in to two halves.

In displaying his superhero trend at an old age he battles with a dragon as he avenges for his people and gives it a final blow, besides being fatally wounded, that kills the deadly dragon. Since the Grendel is usually seen as a monster that is superhuman and does not have knowledge of the usage of weapons he also uses these extra-ordinary strengths against its enemies just like the dragon. These are seen as the reasons for the tension the tension between the Christians and pagans.

One of the conflicting ethics between the Christians and the pagans is that Christians, as represented by the Beowulf, defends the rights and ready to die for the sake of Danes while the pagans, as represented by the Grendel are not happy when the people enjoy their joy and end up terrorizing them. There is also the use of the dragon in most stories to display the heroes in most stories unlike in Christianity where by they use Jesus Christ as their hero.

Historically, characters in the poem might have been pagans. Events are placed into some kind of Biblical context where by the Grendel mother is and Grendel is reflected as relatives of Cain there by placing monotheistic emotions into his character’s mouth. Though Jesus is not directly referred to in the book, there are several indirect references.

Genesis acts as a benchmark for the poem as Grendel’s mother and Grendel (due to their heritage) are assumed to be disciplined due to the curse and mark of Cain. Several Scholars however disagree on whether Beowulf’s major thematic drive is Christian pagan in nature. The explanation of the soldiers’ helmets, beautified with boar carvings are seen as references Christ and God. But the subject remains unresolved due absence of a pre Christian written description of the epic.


Beowulf, Christianity, And Paganism, retrieved on 4th, October, 2007, available at

Beowulf – Christianity vs. Paganism, retrieved on 30th, August, available at

Robert Nye (1982) Beowulf: A New Telling, Dell publishers,UK.