At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise—a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant's plate.... The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end; and there was no Aslan.
"Who's done it?" cried Susan. "What does it mean? Is it more magic?"
"Yes!" said a great voice from behind their backs. "It is more magic." They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"Oh, Aslan!" cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad....
"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
"It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward."
This scene, which occurs in Chapter 15, is possibly the most important in the book. Aslan's resurrection is the backbone both of the literal plot of the novel and the Christian allegory. The breaking of the Stone Table signifies the shattering of old, severe traditions. A new age dawns as literally the sun rises in the book. Lewis consistently refers to spiritual and mystical experiences as magic. Using the idea of magic, Lewis couches the story of Christ in terms that children can easily grasp, and he makes the story more vibrant and accessible.
Although the old magic, or traditional religion, of Narnia is Deep Magic, deeper still is the magic that Aslan uses when he sacrifices himself. Aslan does not defy the Emperor's magic. Instead, Aslan follows the tradition and submits himself to the Witch. Aslan's resurrection does not occur because he helps redeem Edmund or Narnia, but because he obeys the Emperor's rules. Aslan follows the old tradition, and is therefore able to then reform the traditions and save Narnia.
Take a Study Break
Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Quote from The Office
Every Book on Your English Syllabus, Summed Up in Marvel Quotes
A Roundup of the Funniest Great Gatsby Memes You'll Ever See
QUIZ: How Many of These Literary Jeopardy! Questions Can You Answer Correctly?
7 "Crazy" Women in Literature Who Were Actually Being Totally Reasonable
Honest Names for All the Books on Your English Syllabus
QUIZ: Are You a Hero, a Villain, or an Anti-Hero?