A genuine definition of a monster is an "imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening," but in the poem Beowulf a monster has much more meaning than just an imaginary creature. Monsters were commonly used in stories written during the pagan times. Throughout the plot of ‘Beowulf,' the protagonist Beowulf faces many obstacles that include fighting monsters: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a Dragon. The monsters in Beowulf are present for a substantial reason to contribute towards the story, and they are symbolic of many qualities in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Monsters are an outstanding quality of Pagan literature. Many stories written during the Pagan times have a hero versus villain structure. The polemic present in Beowulf …show more content…
The monsters all had a main overall purpose that influenced their actions. Grendel was distracted from the noise and corruption in the hall which caused the uprising of his attacks. After Grendel's death, his mother "brooded on her loss, and misery had brewed in her heart" (Beowulf 19.1259). Grendel's mother did not start to fight off the Danes just because she was evil, but rather because she sought revenge for the death of her son. The Dragon was also on the hunt for retribution. In the book ‘Beowulf,' it becomes evident why the dragon is enraged after it is mentioned, "the might beast, / slept in those stone walls for hundreds of years; runaway slave roused it" (Beowulf 32.2279-80). The Dragon was angered because his treasure was stolen and he was awakened, so he flew above the town and thrashed his flames. The monsters fighting out of rage and anger not only adds to their characteristic of evil but also intensifies the battle. Although the monsters are displayed as vile creatures who show no mercy, they have a logical reasoning for their …show more content…
The definition of heroism is great bravery. Bravery is what Beowulf displays when he makes the decision to battle the monsters. Beowulf's courage is exposed multiple times during the battles for example, "The dragon burns Beowulf's hall with fiery breath, and the old king sets out to fight him unaided" (Hanning 9). This detail displays that although the dragon is evil and might, Beowulf shows no fear whatsoever when battling them. Beowulf ignores the possibility of there being an adverse outcome during every battle he continues to fight. He finds a solution to slay the monster in every battle for example, "The fight is difficult but; Hrunthing fails its user, but Beowulf sees a great sword, too big for anyone but himself, and uses it to kill the mother" (Hanning 7). Although the purpose of the monster may be to add action throughout the plot, Beowulf battling the monsters not only adds action but also portrays him as a hero for fighting the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
He uses his fiery breath to attack Beowulf. “Its breath came first.\ a streaming cloud pouring from the stone” (668-669). When the dragon is battling Beowulf, he mainly uses his breath to melt Beowulf’s shield. However, the dragon is the only monster thats attack is strong enough to defeat Beowulf. All three monsters have unique attack methods to try and defeat Beowulf and his
Beowulf is the perfect hero, both tragic and epic. He is larger than life with his impressive strength and drive that helps him defeat an assortment of monsters, such as Grendel and Grendel's mother. His overconfidence and pride makes him a tragic hero. In lines 678-684, Beowulf boldly states, "When it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous as Grendel. No weapons... unarmed he shall
Where do Monsters lurk In every superhero book or movie there is a form of a monster. It does not have to be and actual monster, it can be just the villain that 's apart of t he story. A monster is an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening. In the book Beowulf there is a monster by the name of Grendel, this monster was a great terror and destroyer of Denmark and he mostly targeted the Danes, a town led by King Herod. This monster was unlike any other monster, he had a tactic to what he did whenever he would come and and eat the people of the town.
Monsters and enemies have been in books and stories for a long time. Monsters usually play the role of the “bad guy”, that tries to stop or defeat the main character from completing his task. The monsters in the poem represent and show that there are many fearful enemies that you have to defeat and save your town from if you want to be a hero. The monsters in the poem reinforce the heroic code because the missions Beowulf had to do always reinstated how fierce and dangerous the monsters that Beowulf had to defeat were. They showed how brave and strong Beowulf had to be to defeat these monsters and prove himself as a hero.
Monsters have been a driving force in human literature for as long as storytelling has existed, and has been the focal point of many tales passed down in time. Some of these monsters have even embedded themselves into our culture and changed with it. With that being stated not all monsters are concrete, many spawn from the hatred and fear created in the mind and put on paper to be dealt with in a way more possible than before. Most people know that a radical pure and evil do exist, and are very prominent in many religions this being another vessel for monsters to manifest themselves. Due to them existing so deep into history a radical change in the view of the monster in things like Frankenstein, Beowulf, and The Death of Arthur are very obvious
A monster is not determined by its appearance, shape or form, but rather by its character. A true monster is one that is a ruthless, unemotional being who takes pleasure upon the suffering of others. The two different stories of Beowulf and Grendel portray Grendel, his mother, and the dragon in different ways. In Beowulf, because the protagonist of the story is a human and not a creature, the focus of the story is portraying Beowulf as a hero and his rivals (Grendel, his mother and the dragon) as monsters. No thorough analysis of the creatures is incorporated and they are mainly judged by their frightening appearances.
Beowulf makes known that “no man but [himself] could hope to defeat this monster, [and] no one could try.” Beowulf wants to have this fight all to himself, so he can take all of the glory. He is too selfish to conclude that only he could defeat the monster alone. Beowulf cannot be thought of as a hero because “Beowulf only longed for fame.” Beowulf does not perform heroic deeds just to save the citizens, but to receive more admiration from the citizens.
He could send troops and let someone else deal with the dragon but he does not. He faces the dragon himself like a true hero would. Knowing an enemy this strong could kill him he fights regardless in order to protect his people. Beowulf killed the dragon and gave his life for his people truly the actions of a hero. Even as a king he has nothing to prove to anyone by facing the dragon, which shows that he does not fight for himself he fights because he believes he needs to.
Not only have we seen brute strength, honorable courage, and admirable loyalty shine through beowulf, Beowulf also possess a great trait not many others have; his will to fight to the death, or self sacrifice. Not once throughout the story did Beowulf ever turn down a battle. Not once did he fear or flee his enemy. Not once did he ever give up even if death had him by the throat causing his mind to flood nothing but fearful thoughts and feelings throughout his body. Every battle Beowulf fought, he fought as if it was his last and that is what truly makes him the great warrior he is.
In the epic poem, Beowulf, there are clear distinctions between an epic hero and a monster. Beowulf is the prime example of a epic hero possessing characteristics such as superior strength, courage, and loyalty. On the other hand, Grendel and Grendel’s mother are characteristized as evil and immoral based off of their actions. These characteristics are presented throughout the poem, and monsters are given grotesque, hideous appearances to further prove that they are evil. After Beowulf kills Grendel, Grendel’s mother reaction revealed how the full presentation of a character can allow readers to react differently than before and even sympathized with them.
The first monster that Beowulf had to conquer was the monster Grendel. Grendel was terrorizing the village and they needed a hero. Beowulf to further his legacy wanted to fight him with no weapons what so ever. As it states in the Epic of Beowulf (lines).
In the epic, we see examples of Beowulf glorifying himself in the path of righteousness. He is portrayed as being the hero while Grendel is the monster needed to be slain. Good cannot be present without evil. How do you determine who fills each role? We must remind ourselves that there are two sides to every story.
What many don’t know is monsters of today are much like monsters back then in the Anglo-Saxon times. A specific monster of those times is Grendel, an antagonist in Beowulf that is bent on killing and eating people. In this epic, Beowulf is a well renowned hero that has great strength and abilities. He is sent to defeat the monster Grendel that has been wreaking havoc on the Geats, located in present day Sweden, for 14 years, murdering and eating their people. Grendel is portrayed to be a typical
Monsters, hideous ferocious beasts, or just things that bring us down , are obstacles everyone encounters in life. Times have changed since the almighty Beowulf fought Grendel, the evil hairy monster. In modern times, evil hairy beasts are not so easy to come by. The term monster has changed with the times, becoming more of a symbol than anything. It was easy to believe in such a beast as Grendel in the times of Beowulf.
Both authors paint a grotesque picture of their creations and how they both desire to destroy beauty; Aesthetic Iconoclasm, that is shared between the two figures. However, both authors present their monsters separate to one another in philosophy; with Grendel being a mindless savage and the Monster being more contemplative and questioning the nature of its own creation. ‘Monster’ characters have always been a target of both folk tales and pagan myths since the dawn of humanity, the very concept of a monstrous creature harkens back to the primal fear instinct of facing a dangerous predator that presents a danger to humanity. Grendel from Beowulf is the perfect example of this hysteria and