Monstrosity In Beowulf

1285 Words6 Pages

In the poem Beowulf, there is a contrast between good and evil. This distinction is presented through the monsters Grendel and his mother, in parallel to the hero Beowulf. The themes of evil and monstrosity are therefore used in the story, as a way to create the notion of Grendel and his mother as monsters. Beowulf therefore appears as a character representing good. Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently. Grendel and his mother are represented as monsters, through their physical appearance, as well as their horrific killings. The monstrosity of Grendel is directly seen through his physical appearance, as depicted when his hand is exposed in the hall as a trophy, after he was injured during his battle with Beowulf. During this scene, the beastly appearance …show more content…

This reinforces the idea that Grendel’s mother is also a monster, since put in the same position as the prior one. The two monsters, Grendel and his mother are also associated with the night as a time for action. This reinforces their animal-like behavior, and the monstrosity of their actions because they are not giving fair warning to the humans. The monstrosity of Grendel is also seen through his savagery when killing the men. He is carnivorous and feeds on human flesh. He does not seem to have a limit when killing “(…) greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men from their resting places and rushed to his lair, flushed up and inflamed from the raid, blundering back the butchered corpses” (ll.120-125). Finally, Grendel does not seem to have emotions about those he kills, he is "insensible to pain and human sorrow” (ll.119-120) and he never showed remorse”(l.137). By his beast-like physical appearance, as well as his gruesome actions and his lack of emotions, the monstrosity of Grendel becomes evident throughout the

Open Document