The Role Of The Monsters In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an adventurous and fierce account of the trials and tribulations of the Anglo-Saxon era. In this epic poem the main character, Beowulf, encounters grim monsters and must battle them for the betterment and safety of his loyal people and comrades. Each of these monsters Beowulf battles has distinct characteristics from one another. All three monsters are enraged and fighting for different reasons: Grendel is an angered, social outcast; Grendel’s mother is out to avenge her son’s death; and the dragon is furious after being burgled.

Grendel is an outcast and a loner of the Herot society. He is banished to the swamp lands and seemingly longs for acceptance and is jealous of the society he cannot be a part of. Grendel is extremely vile and evil, described in the poem as that demon, that fiend, Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in a hell not hell but earth. (16-19)He has no remorse for the crimes he commits and takes joy in committing even more crimes with no peace, offering No truce, accepting no settlement, no price in gold or land, and paying the living for one crime only with another. (69-72)He simply kills because he
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She, too, possesses the same repulsive and violent features as her son. She is described as a “greedy she-wolf” (426) but possesses fewer human traits than Grendel. However, she goes out to seek vengeance for her son’s death, clearly a human motivation. Grendel’s mother is more beast like as she fights with Beowulf into the depths of the hellish lake she calls home. There is a moment in the struggle when the reader thinks it may be the end for Beowulf as “she carried him, armor And sword and all, To her home; he struggled To free his weapon, and failed” (433-435). Nevertheless, when Beowulf does defeat Grendel’s mother in the end, he comes out looking like a greater and nobler hero than
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