Fate Vs. Free Will In Beowulf

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Fate is often described as the will or principle by which things in general are believed to come to be . The question of fate has been pondered over for ages , with the epic poem, Beowulf, raising questions on the concept of fate versus free will. The epic raises the question in the form of the complex,yet dynamic character Grendel. Although it seems at certain points that Grendel acts on free will ,he is in fact led entirely by fate.The idea of fate leading Grendel’s life is made entirely from the fact that he was born a monster and an unfortunate descendant of Cain. To begin with , Grendel seemed to be a creature of free will, there are a number of things to take into consideration ,the first and most important being a matter of his birth .Being born a monster put him at a disadvantage where his appearance was put before almost everything else . Grendel was often judged on his appearance as seen with the reactions of almost everyone who saw him . He often tries to choose his own fate but seems to hold …show more content…

The poem, Beowulf, further explains that Grendel was fated to die, stating “fate, that night,intended Grendel to gnaw the broken bones of his last human supper”(225-259).Providing a clear illustration of how Grendel’s life was guided by fate ,and not free will like others might believe.He was doomed to die as fated by the powers that be when he grew too powerful and ruthless as he did terrorising the Danes for twelve winters ( Beowulf 58-62) . Grendel was banished by God,a direct result of his birth as a descendant of cain. According to Beowulf,Grendel “made his home in a hell, not earth but hell ……...The almighty drove those demons out ,and their exile was bitter …”(19-25).Being born a descendant of cain left him unable to live with and properly interact with humans, who he grew to hate as he could not comprehend why they and not his kind were chosen by

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