The line, ‘Fate will unwind as it must,’; (284) not only shows that the people believed they had no control of their destiny, but it is also relevant that Paganism was a significant part of their every day life. There are many illustrations throughout the poem Beowulf, that portray the importance of fate to the people. Often, the word fate was used as a way of showing the outcome of what has already come about. Fate was a way of saying that the people’s destiny was already chosen, that they had no control, but everything would turn out as it should.
For example, ‘But fate, that night, intended Grendel to gnaw the broken bones of his last human supper,’; (309-310). This is a way of foreshadowing the fate, or destiny, or Grendel’s life. During the Last Battle, Beowulf replies ‘I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins,’; (637-639). He acted as though everything that he has gone through so far in his life, was in the hands of fate, and would continue to be until his time was over. Whatever came out of this battle, was meant to be and there was nothing that was going to change it.
Fate is related to the Pagan religion. Paganism was the religion that was most often used during the time of Beowulf. It is referred to every time fate is mentioned, because they didn’t believe in one God and thought that fate had control over them. Fate was also used as saying the outcome of something that had already come about. For example, on line 46, Hrothgar mourns over the fate of his companions, ‘Hrothgar, their lord, sat joyless in Herot, a mighty prince mourning the fate of his lost friends and companions.
Here it is used as a way of saying their lives had already ended. Beowulf refers to the fate of the monsters he had already fought. ‘Death was my errand and the fate they had earned,’; (253-254). ‘Fate will unwind as it must,’; is saying that the people left their lives up to fate, and whatever happens was meant to be, and that they had no control over it. This shows that Paganism was depended on heavily. It was also used as a way of saying that something had already happened.