BEOWULF AS A CHRIST-LIKE FIGURE
The epic poem, Beowulf, recounts the tale of a man named Beowulf who sacrifices his
own safety to save the Danes from two evil dragons. Then, years later, Beowulf risks his life yet
again to save his own people from a dragon. Throughout the story, Beowulf is presented as a
Christ-like figure. This is manifested in the events that take place, the way that Beowulf speaks
about himself, and the way the people treat him.
The first way Beowulf's likeness to Christ is revealed, is through the events that take
place. After Beowulf tells Hrothgar that he will fight Grendel, there is a celebration. During the celebration, Welthow, the queen "raised a flowing cup" (615) and poured "a portion from the jeweled cup/ For each" (621-622). When she got to Beowulf, she "thanked God for answering her prayers" (625). This event is strikingly similar to the Last Supper when Jesus passed around a cup o
All of these events clearly parallel the events of Jesus' day. Finally, Beowulf is said to have "Gone to a glorious death" (3037) and his soul "Left his flesh, flew to glory" (2820). Lastly, after Beowulf dies, "twelve of the bravest Geatts Rode their horses around the tower," (3170), mourning Beowulf, "Crying that no better king had ever Lived, no prince so mild, no man So open to his people, so deserving of praise. These similarities are revealed through the actions and comments of the people, and the events. Throughout the poem, there are many similarities between Beowulf and Jesus. Therefore, Beowulf was like a savior to Hrothgar. Thus, no man could defeat evil without the help of God. When Hrothgar hears that Beowulf has come to help him, he says that God "Has sent him as a sign of His grace, a mark Of His favor, to help us defeat Grendel And end that terror" (382-384). Then, the crucifixion is portrayed when Beowulf fights Grendel's mother. Similarly, when Jesus was crucified, crowds drew near laughing at him, hurling insults, and spitting on him. Therefore, the people's actions and opinons of Beowulf are very similar to people's actions and opinions of Jesus.