The Monsters In Beowulf

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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

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