Jesus Christ Warrior-King: Analysis of the Old English Christ and Satan
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The Old English poem Christ and Satan is an interesting and important work of literature, but various circumstances have left it without the widespread scholarly attention or fame of other Old English poems. This thesis begins by demonstrating the ways in which Christ and Satan makes use of traditional, Germanic-heroic literary practices to tell its distinctly Christian story and how this intermingling of traditions casts Christ into several distinctly heroic roles within the poem, including that of the warrior-king. Subsequent chapters compare specific scenes from the narrative of the poem, those of Christ’s descent into hell and his temptation by Satan in the desert, to similar scenes from other poems in the Old English and Old Saxon poetic canons. These comparisons are made in search of increased understanding of both the poetic inner-workings of Christ and Satan and how and why it was composed within its unique historical, literary, and religious context.