Beowulf: Heaven and Beowulf Essay examples

Submitted By Jess4674
Words: 527
Pages: 3

Throughout Beowulf the Christian and heroic values are seen next to each other. At times the two values are at odds with one another at then there are times when they work harmoniously. In lines 3058-3109 the two views are seen side by side as the writer and Wiglaf say their final thoughts of Beowulf. There is a distinct difference in the two voices and their beliefs but there is also an overlap of the two views in each of the speakers.
The first view that readers get is the Christian one that the writer of the poem gives. The writer’s view can be summed up in line 3067-68 where he says “He himself was ignorant/ of how his departure from the world would happen.” The writer is speaking of Beowulf and says that although Beowulf was a great warrior it is not known whether he will go to heaven or not. There is also the implication that because Beowulf was a ‘barbarian’ and not necessarily a Christian he would be “ignorant” of what the afterlife held or have different views of what the afterlife is.
Then we get the heroic view from Wiglaf who mourns the passing of Beowulf and repeats his last words. In Wiglaf’s telling he speaks of how great a warrior Beowulf was in his life as well as the last request of the king. In his last words Beowulf described how he want a barrow built to “serve as a memorial, / in a commanding position” so that he could be remembered for his great deeds on the earth (3097-98). The heroic culture here shows how it values the deeds of warriors and that Beowulf as a great king and warrior wants to be remembered by his people for his deeds. It also is a contrast to the Christian values and their belief in the afterlife because Beowulf is worried about how the world remembers him instead of worrying about heaven in his last moments.
But even with these differences the two values overlap in a few places.