Beowulf is not simply described as a machine; he is described as a dead man. His voice is that of a “dead thing,” and his patience rivals that of a “grave-mound.” These images reinforce the idea that Beowulf will be the agent of Grendel’s demise. However, as a man who has risen from the dead, Beowulf also resembles the resurrected Christ. Grendel’s mother tries to warn her son of his impending doom by bleating “Beware the fish”—fish being a commonly recognized symbol for the Christ figure. Indeed, Beowulf is associated with fish images several times throughout this chapter. He comes from over the sea, “has no more beard than a fish,” and has shoulders as “sleek as the belly of a shark.” Furthermore, the story of the swimming contest with Breca demonstrates Beowulf’s prowess in the water. Beowulf does appear to be the fulfillment of the Scyldings’ prayers for a Destroyer to come and rid them of Grendel.