Beowulf acts as the main character in the poem Beowulf. Hislife experiences are used to picture the life of Christ. Therefore,various elements of salvation can be deduced from his speech,actions, and description.
For example, Beowulf’s birth and purpose of life are described withreference to Jesus Christ. “To him a heir was born then Young inthe yards, God sent him To comfort the people he had seen the diredistress That they suffered before, leader-less A long while themfor that the Life-Lord Ruler of glory, granted honour on earth“(Line 12-17). Beowulf was his father`s son just as much as Christwas born of his Father. The aspect of heirloom also reveals theextent to which Beowulf was expected to become exemplary. Granted,Beowulf did not descend from a family of royalty. Nevertheless, hisfuture as a king was quite certain to the extent that his life courseto be described as an heirloom.
The theme of salvation and self-sacrifice is also evident where Godoffers Beowulf as the person to provide comfort to the people.Beowulf aims to rescue the people of Geatland just as Christ soughtto save humans from bondage to sin and death. Beowulf wascommissioned to salvage a people in distress just as Christ was alsosent to a distraught and hopeless human race. Later, the theme ofsalvation is complete as Beowulf endures persecution and betrayal soas to protect the people.
Beowulf has many similarities to King Arthur, a legendary characterin the English folklore. Both characters had stints of leadershipwithin their society. For example, King Arthur ruled over Englandwhile Beowulf ruled the Geats. Both characters also use magicalweapons to vanquish their enemies. Beowulf used a sword while KingArthur wielded the Excalibur weapon (Pyle, 2014). In this regard,both characters are destined to lead their people to success.
Greenblatt, S., et al. (Eds.) (2012). The Norton anthology ofEnglish literature (9th ed., Vol.1). New York, NY: W. W. Norton &Company, Inc.
Pyle, H. (2014). The story of King Arthur and his knights. NewYork, NY: Fall River Press.