Symbolism In Beowulf

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The battle between good and evil in the epic, “Beowulf”, is still prevalent in our time today, and has actually always been. Throughout the course of human history, especially in literature, the battle between good and evil has been a significant focal point. This focal point can be seen in stories and poems from all over the world, throughout time. Authors in the past, who have had this as their focal point, have either snuck it in through symbolism and the reasons as to why the characters are who they are, or they place it in plain sight. Nowadays, the battle between good and evil seems to be more prevalent in our everyday lives, than it is in the literary world. One of my favorite ancient stories is, “The Odyssey”. This ancient greek
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This is also, somewhat, shown in “Beowulf”. Lines 632-638 say, “I had a fixed purpose when I put to sea. As I sat in the boat with my band of men, I meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish in the attempt, in the fiend 's clutches. And I shall fulfill that purpose, prove myself with a proud deed or meet my death here in the mead-hall.” This quote definitely can connect the two stories, and many how stories throughout time, and from all different cultures, have a focal point on the battle between good and evil. In more modern times, this central theme has turned into a bit of a grey zone. As human history grows on, everything in our world develops and changes. And over time, we began to change the way we thought, and changed our mindsets as to how the world should work. With these changes, the specific definitions of what “good” is or what “evil” is, change as well. It seems to me, that the “battle between good and evil”, is now a bit of a grey zone. In, “Beowulf”, you can easily point out the evil in the good, for example: “Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend/Grendel who haunted the moors, the wild/Marshes, and made his home in a hell./Not hell but hell…show more content…
The allusion to Cain, makes it even more defined as evil, because Cain is infamous for brutally killing his only brother. But now, in more recent literature, many authors have let the reader decide what the evil, and what the good is. One example would be, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. This novel at first depicts Boo Radley as a scary mystery; Maycomb, Alabama’s very own “boogeyman”. Throughout the story, the mask is revealed and the reader gets to see that what may look scary and evil, can be something very different on the inside. This story shows that the evil may be what you thought was the good, and what you thought was good was the evil. But, this also depends on the reader’s personal opinions, creating it a grey zone.The battle between good and evil also relates to our world today, outside of literature. As I stated in the above paragraph, the definition of good and evil is a brey zone; especially in the present state of the world. There are so many crazy things going on in this world that people do not understand. And people seem to be turning to what they’ve been taught through literature to find out, “who/what’s good?”, and “who/what’s evil?”. In Beowulf’s time evil was defined as hideous, and terrifying monsters that could kill you. But now, humans tend to see the monster/evil inside each other. This quote from the epic, really draws
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