Anonymous: Christ and Satan

(1227 words)
  • Philip A. Shaw (The University of Leicester)

Christ and Satan is an Old English poem of around 730 lines (preserved in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11) that draws on Old and New Testament narratives in an exploration of the nature of Satan, his role in salvation history, and his relationship to God. The poem opens with the creation of the world, before moving quickly on to the rebellion of the angels. The consequences of the rebellion are vividly presented through lengthy speeches attributed to Satan, interspersed with moralising passages with a homiletic tone that emphasise the relevance of the material to its human audience. The second half of the poem centres on the harrowing of Hell and briefly refers to the day of judgement, creating some sense of an overall …

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Shaw, Philip A.. "Christ and Satan". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2012
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]