The Theme Of Revenge: Themes Of Vengeance In Beowulf

Good Essays
Andrea Aranda
Tom Whittington
December 8th, 2014
English 11th "C"

Beowulf Vengeance Essay

It is often believed amongst the people in this world that justice is revenge. Whether it's justified or just looked for, the need for justice in the lives of people will always be boldly present until something is done about it. The poem "Beowulf" harbors amongst many other themes the theme of revenge, being considered the overwhelming motivation for some particular characters to do what they do. It in fact makes the reader understand better the depth analysis of said characters making everything easier to understand. Upon analysis the poem Beowulf is filled with inner desires for revenge from different and particularly important characters in the
…show more content…
He is called by King Hrothgar to defend his people from the "evil" Grendel. Normally, it is really unlikely that the antagonist of a book or poem turns out to be the most interesting one, but in Beowulf, this is the case. Grendel is a demon, but a demon mainly driven by human emotions. According to the poem, Grendel is by lineage, a member of "Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed / and condemned as outcasts.” (Beowulf, 106–107) Grendel resents this, so this is his first motive to attack the people in the Heorot. To understand where Grendel's wrath is coming from. "Malignant by nature, he never showed remorse" (Beowulf, 137) Incidentally, as any other villain, Grendel was exceptionally destined from the beginning to be evil. They made him an outcast and he embraced his evil nature that increased with the constant celebrations being held in the Heorot making him feel unwanted, excluded and bitter to the core. This all led to his revenge on the people, killing them all for alienating him, action that he accepted as justice for…show more content…
The character of Grendel's mother, the swamp hag whose never actually given a name, just like Grendel, had sorrows and inner demons of her own. "Grendel's mother/ monstrous hell-bride, brooded on her wrongs./ She had been forced down into fearful waters,/ the cold depths, after Cain had killed/ his father's son, felled his own/ brother with a sword." (Beowulf, 1258-1263) She had been cursed to be an outcast, too. Nevertheless, Grendel's mother is considered one of the most vengeful characters in the book even though her ulterior motives for revenge, just as Grendel's, were pure human feelings too. "But now his mother/ had sallied forth on a savage journey,/grief-racked and ravenous, desperate for revenge." (Beowulf,1276-1280) Grendel's mother had done nothing wrong until Beowulf slayed Grendel, and therefore enraged Grendel's mother. Popular opinions argue that she was just as evil as Grendel was for seeking revenge, but what these people fail to recognize are again, the motives. Grendel's mother only attacked Heorot because her motherly love moved her to it. She was just trying to avenge her son's death, simultaneously causing her own death by the hands of
Get Access