Beowulf the Warrior Social Sensitivity

Ian Serraillier
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One of the controversial aspects of Beowulf for scholars is the poem's blending together of pagan and Christian elements. The story itself was originally a pagan story that was "christianized" by a later poet. This matter, however, need not concern readers of Serraillier's popular adaptation.

An element of the poem that cannot be played down is its considerable violence.

The Germanic world recreated in the poem was a violent one in which few men died a natural death—certainly not those who attempted to fulfill heroic aspirations. One aspect of the violence that is prevalent in the original poem stems from the constant warring among the Germanic tribes. In Serraillier's version, this dimension of the poem is largely omitted, as is the strong sense of doom for Beowulf's people that hovers over the conclusion of the poem. Serraillier does preserve, necessarily, much of the original poem's violence...

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This section contains 207 words
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Buy the Beowulf the Warrior Study Guide
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