Themes of Religion in Beowulf (Reflection 2)

You aren’t making some grand reveal by tying Beowulf together with religion. There are plentiful amounts of references to Christianity. For example in lines 1269-1274 of Maria Dahvana Headley’s Beowulf: A New Translation;

He used his strength to slay the intruder, trusting his Father to protect him, as He always had. He bled the hellion, and Grendel fled piecemeal, no Heaven for him, no honey, only rushing through a haunted hall to die in his own mausoleum.

This quote is after Beowulf defeated Grendel, and Beowulf gave credit to God helping/allowing Grendel to be slain, not just Beowulf being good enough. I didn’t think of religious themes of Beowulf outside of other references such as this. Then I read Grendel’s Mother: or, if Mother Mary Went Off by Kayla Orthman. Orthman goes in depth on the relation of Grendel’s mother to Mother Mary from the bible. This correlation was always there, but I just never knew how similar the two are. Such as when Orthman says:

In the Bible, when Jesus is crucified, Mary is there for him at his feet. Similarly, Grendel’s mother is implied to have been there when Grendel succumbed to the wounds inflicted on him by Beowulf. But instead of the acceptance that Mary showed because of her belief in God, Grendel’s mother seeks revenge.” 

I highly recommend their essay to get all the parallels between the two, but I just wanted to point out how important religion plays in Beowulf. I almost want to reread Beowulf to see if there was any other reference I missed. I just thought it was interesting and important to point out how important religion is to Beowulf in case anyone else missed it. 

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