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Essay (Failure of) Comitatus in Beowulf and the Bible

Comitatus, as well as its failure, in Beowulf and a similar principle of loyalty in the stories of Jonah, Abraham and Daniel in the Bible form good comparison. This is because the poem and the religious stories show some interesting corresponding elements. Comitatus refers to “the epic or heroic tradition of the Germanic peoples” (Markland 341) and can, then, not be found in the Bible. An equivalent principle, like loyalty, is very widespread in the Bible, though. To support this statement, the following sources will be used: Beowulf itself to find examples of (failure of) comitatus, the Bible to look at the stories of Jonah, Abraham and Daniel and a text about comitatus in general, but particularly in Beowulf. Research has been done on the subject of comitatus in Beowulf, for example by Murray F. Markland. He has written about the principle of comitatus, especially in Beowulf. However, Markland has not discussed the link between comitatus and an equivalent in the Bible.

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