Comparing Grendel's Struggle Between Good And Evil

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Everyone has the potential to do evil, whether they think so or not. The ability to be a monster, tyrant, or zealot is present in everyone. As Kenneth L. Woodward relates in his article, Overcoming Sin, “we are all children of darkness struggling toward the light” (para. 2). So if everyone has the potential to do evil, what is it that keeps them in check? It can be argued that empathy keeps evil in check. Empathy is defined as, “The ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation” ( The capacity for tremendous evil is inherent in everyone, however empathy keeps them in check, not allowing them to give into their impulses.
An evildoer from
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Grendel is delighted with his evil actions, cannot comprehend the pain he just inflicted upon the men. Grendel’s lack of empathy is the reason why he gave into his evil impulses. Grendel is unaware and unaffected by the pain and suffering which he causes upon others. He was born to “murderous creatures” (23). This means he was surrounded by evil his whole life, driving him to be and carry out acts of evil.

There is an old Cherokee parable in which a little boy compares his internal struggle between good and evil to a fight between two wolves. His grandfather assures him that everyone experiences this same struggle, but the wolf that wins is “…the one that you feed” (Two Wolves). The evil wolf wins if he is fed anger and aggression, and the good wolf wins if he is fed kindness and empathy. Although the capacity for good and evil exists in everyone, evil will triumph unless one makes it a point to feed the good
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