Essay on The Christ-Like Figure of Beowulf

In the story Beowulf, the main character, Beowulf, is portrayed as a Christ-like figure. Though only a careful reader may pick up on it, we know that Beowulf is Christ-like through his actions, his personality, and some symbolism. Also, what the other characters in the story and the narrator say about him indicates that he is Christ-like. Beowulf experiences some of the same or similar things that Christ experienced too. With a close interpretation and a deep analysis of the story, there is more than enough evidence to prove that Beowulf is Christ-like.

To start off, the very first line in the story that deals with Beowulf is, "Of living strong men he was the strongest..." (p. 9) and it then goes on to tell of Beowulf's noble characteristics. This puts him above the rest of mankind but still much lower than God. Jesus Christ, a mortal as well as Beowulf, seemed to be the same in rank. Throughout the story the narrator and other characters tell of Beowulf's Christ-like characteristics. For example, Hrothgar, king of the Danes, said, "God, in His mercy, has sent him (Beowulf) to save us...from Grendel's assaults"(p. 13). God sent his son Jesus Christ, the savior, to save all of us from sin. This quote from Hrothgar is quite possibly the most convincing element in the entire story telling us that Beowulf is Christ-like. Another example is that the narrator refers to Beowulf as "The shelter of kinsmen..." (p.33), and this tells us that Beowulf was there protector just as Christ was. These examples from the story help us understand Beowulf's characteristics through the eyes of other characters and the narrator.

Next, what Beowulf actually does in the story, how he acts, and some of his personality traits will further explain why he is Christ-like. Beowulf and Christ have similar personality traits. The last couple lines of this folk epic tell it best; the lines state that the Geats, "Said he (Beowulf) was the ki... Continues...

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The Christ-Like Figure of Beowulf. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 03:56, April 25, 2014, from http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/202.html