Grendel's Role In Beowulf Essay

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Question 2: The role of monsters in the poem is to shape and drive its plot. Monsters are defined as outsiders or those who represent evil intentions in the Anglo-Saxon culture and not necessarily otherworld creatures. In the case of Grendel, the “grim demon” who attacks Heorot, is a descendant of Cain, who had been banished by God and an outcast from humanity, therefore, a mixture between human and monster. Grendel’s character depicts the opposite of Beowulf, a warrior. By fighting, and ultimately defeating both Grendel and his mother, Beowulf proves himself to be courageous and thus promoted to lord and king and uniting the Danes and the Geats. In this encounter, the monsters help Beowulf proceed higher in command, while at the same time…show more content…
The banquet hall where Grendel attacks is a common gathering place for Danish warriors to get drunk and eventually fall into deep sleep. Hence, why Grendel comes and attacks at night when all the warriors and guards have fallen asleep due to drinking. With the defeat of Grendel and the restoration of the hall, the community is restored. However, since Grendel is a descendant of Cain, his mother is too, therefore, Grendel’s mother represents the origin of Grendel’s sin and by killing her, the origin of Grendel’s ‘sin’ is eradicated. The dragon, on the other hand, could also represent the opposite of Beowulf as king. Beowulf is a king who distributes his wealth and at the same time protect his people. However, the dragon hoards all the wealth that it cannot use, nor did the tribe who had accumulated it long ago. The dragon could also represent death itself as the last man of the tribe who accumulated the gold awaited death to join his brethren all the while protecting the hoard. In the end, Beowulf dies by the dragon, but the dragon also perishes by the hands of Beowulf’s kinsman,

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