Study Guide

Caedmon's Hymn Religion

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Now we must praise                    heaven-kingdom's Guardian,

In addition to drawing readers in to the action of praising, the "must" here might also reflect a religious commandment. In other words, it seems that praising God is a requirement for good medieval Christians.

He first created                     for men's sons
heaven as a roof (5-6)

Instead of delving into the intricacies of theology, Caedmon focuses on the scriptural basics: God made us a sky, hooray.

for men earth,                     Master almighty (9).

Again, instead of hymning about other things God has given to humans, such as religious law, guidelines for living a sinless life, etc., Caedmon sticks to the concrete: an earth to go under the sky.

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