Beowulf Allegory to Christ Story?
An allegory is a visible symbol that represents an abstract idea. Beowulf was said to be an allegory to the Christ story because it has so many Christian elements in it. in the beginning of Beowulf (lines 1-300) the author tells that beowulf is on his way to help the Danes defeat Grendel, a monster that is killing innocent people, and was told to be a demon descended from cain (the Bible states that cain killed his own brother and was evil).
After Grendel was introduced it explained how he heard the songs about how god’s creation of the earth and he didn’t like hearing about god and his love. So when all the people were sleeping he attacked and killed thirty men. In the beginning of the Bible it explains how god created the earth and adam and eve who had a baby named cain. So even in the first two lines the story ties in with the bible. One of the guards of the land of Danes told Beowulf that no one has yet to sleigh Grendel and Beowulf’s response was simply as if saying, do you know who i am? ecause he knows his strength. With beowulf responding like that it is also similar to when Jesus would be doubted by others and he would respond with a similar type statement because he too knew his power. Beowulf then decides that he and his men are going trick Grendel into attacking them by playing music and having fun in the hall of heorot. They then lay down and sleep until grendel attacks and is about to grab Beowulf and when he does beowulf fights back and cuts grendel’s arm off as a trophy to show that he is not weak and has killed grendel.
After Beowulf shows he has won the guard who has doubted him asks for forgiveness which beowulf grants, and everyone knows that is very similar to Jesus have to grant forgiveness to many people. He then hangs Grendel’s arm on the wall of Heorot so that everyone to enter can see that he has defeated the beast (although he is slightly ashamed that he didn’t have more than just an arm as a trophy). With him hanging the arm on the wall it symbolizes the cross christians hang in the middle of any important christian building.
Christians also hang the cross as a sign of victory against death, showing that death could not beat Jesus. After Grendel’s arm got cut off Grendel’s mom, the she-wolf, found out it was Beowulf and wanted revenge. Beowulf then got summoned by the king to defeat grendel’s mother therefore Beowulf had to go down to the very bottom of the lake that not even fish can live in. That could be symbolic for Jesus coming down to earth, as cruel and terrible as it may be, to fight for all of our sins. Beowulf won the battle and when he did a light shone through the murky water as if shining from heaven.
Lines 647-648 say it was “as though burning in that hall, and as bright as heavens own cradle, lit the sky” as if it were trying to tell us that Beowulf knew he was stronger than most people but he also knew that it was God who helped him make it at the end of every battle. In the Bible, Ephesians 6:12 it states “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ” That statement right there ties in with Beowulf better than just about any other statement i could think of.
Beowulf had to fight Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. All three things he had to fight were not human, they were monsters, and they all three represented evil in a form that can walk on earth. Another thing that is very similar is that when Jesus came to earth he did not come down being immortal he humbled himself and became human just with power and strenght. Beowulf is human but he also has power and strength that most humans shouldn’t have. So i believe that with all the similarities that beowulf and the Christ story have that yes it would only make sense that Beowulf is an allegory for the Christ story.