Beowulf is an epic poem written by a Christian narrator during the Anglo-Saxon period, between 700-1000 A.D. It tells the story of Pagan times.There is a remarkable coexistence between Christian and Pagan concepts present in the poem. This fusion can be associated to the process society went through during the time it was written; a processby which society was converted from Paganism to Christianism. Apart from that, being the writer a Christian narrator writing about Pagan times made a wonderful contribution to the fusion.
Grendelis depicted as a descendent of Cain. He is hateful person and as well as Cain, he is an outcast of society who cannot stand others happiness and so to counteract the jealousy it provokes in himself,he stalks people and terrorizes them. Grendel's stalking of the Danes' can be compared to the Devil when he was expelled from heaven. Being the devil so jealous of others happiness, he as well asGrendel stalks people with temptations of evil:
"So, after nightfall, grendel set out
For the lofty house, to see how the ring-Danes
Were settling into it after their drink,
And there he came uponthem, a company of the best
Asleep from their feasting, insensible to pain
And human sorrow."(Lines 115-120)
Beowulf, the main character of the poem is depicted as a warrior with supernatural powers.He does not need swords or weapons. He has many Pagan characteristics as well as Christian ones. The Pagan features are shown not only in his bravery and courageous attitude but also in the way heboats about his previous battles.
Higlac is my cousin and my king; the days
of my youth have been filled with glory. Now Grendel’s
Name hasechoed in our land: Sailors
Have brought us stories of Herot, the best
of all mead-halls, deserted and useless when the moon
hangs in skies the sun had lit, ...