Beowolf The Last Battle

The dragon is Beowulf's last and greatest battle. The dragon represents malice, greed, and destruction. He is a symbol of the power of Satan. Beowulf's fight with the dragon is a realization of the story of salvation where Beowulf, like Christ, gives his life for his people. The dragon is a timeless foe, which represents the eternal evils that man must fight to preserve what's good. Beside Christian elements, the poem has many Christian parallels. Grendel who is described as a descendant of Cain is a very hateful creature. He envies the fellowship and happiness he sees. He hates living in the underworld, cut off from the company of other men. He stalks the people and terrorizes them because he is jealous of their joy. Grendel's stalking of the Dane's is similar to the devil when he was cast out of heaven and the joys that were there.

He became jealous of mankind and to this day stalks people with temptations of evil. More parallels are evident in Beowulf's preparation and descent into the mere where Grendel's mother lives. While Beowulf is preparing to enter the water, he is pondering the evils that inhabit the pond. He knows he is faced with a greater challenge than before. He prepared as though he were preparing for death. Christ knew before his death that he was facing a great challenge, and he forgave his enemies. Beowulf's descent into the mere is similar to a baptismal rite.

The immersion purifies him, and he overcomes the evil power of Grendel's mother. He rises from the water a redeemed man much as Christ arose from the tomb. While Beowulf is in the mere, all the thanes except Wiglaf gives up hope and leaves at the ninth hour, the hour of Christ's death on the cross. The waiting is similar to the apostles waiting for Christ to return from the Garden of Gethsemane. While Christ was in the Garden, the apostles gave up and fell asleep, all except Peter who loyally awaited Christ's return. Finally, just as Christ had one last battle, Beowulf has his final battle with the dragon. Both Christ and Beowulf fought hard in their last battles with evil, and although they both ultimately died in their final battle, they both were able to conquer the evil before they died.

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26 June 2014. Author: Criticism