Theme Of Ogre In Beowulf

1248 Words5 Pages
“Ogre”, a word which draws forth images of an inhumanly large and tall creature with disproportionately large head, abundant hair, unusually colored skin, and a voracious appetite. The word ogre is of French origin, derived from the name of the Etruscan god Orcus, who fed on human flesh, which would explain why ogres are usually depicted as human eating monsters (South). The hierophants of the ogre exist as a multitude of cross cultural variations serving different socio functions, spanning from the ancient Cyclops of Greece to the raging Oni of Japanese yokai folklore which were used as an explanation for disasters and disease. The idea of the ogre often overlaps with that of humanoid mythical creatures such as giants and trolls, so it is…show more content…
Although the general story of “Beowulf” was created as early as 700 AD by northern european pagan invaders, these Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian invaders would later experience a large-scale conversion to Christianity at the end of the sixth century, which would ultimately result in a Christian interpretation/translation of the story of Beowulf. Despite the Christian adaptation introducing more of an emphasis on the Christian values of faith in and reliance on God, Beowulf retains its original scandinavian cultural pagan themes of revenge and battle while accepting Christian symbolism and metaphors. A part of “Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed / and condemned as outcasts” Grendel, like Cain, is an outcast of society and the embodiment of evil. Doomed to forever roam in the shadows, Grendel remains an alienated outsider looking inside. Essentially, Grendel represents an outside threat to the order of society and all that is good. As his whole existence is based solely in the moral perversion to hate good simply just because it is good. More than just an inhuman monster, Grendel is a symbol envy and strife which no civilization is free from. Impervious to tradition weapons of man, Grendel further solidifies the idea that that not only is Grendel a physical enemy, but also a moral one that must be dealt with by every civilization (Lawrence). Grendel serves to act as the polarizing…show more content…
The screen-to-stage broadway musical, adapted from the immensely popular Shrek movies, Shrek the Musical which for the most part remains true to its source material; however, the musical introduces subtle differences that serve to better explain shrek’s background and character (Lindsay-Abaire). The name Shrek comes from the German and Yiddish-derived word “Schrecklich”, which translated, means awful, terrible or dreadful. At first glance, Shrek may seem like just an average story about an evil ogre; however, Shrek proves to be more than that, by transitioning the monstrous character of an ogre to one of humane and relatable qualities. Ogres — and possibly by extrapolation humans — are like onions, they have many layers. Shrek is a very complex character with many “layers” that appeals to both children and adults, since he so closely reflects characteristics shared by so many people: moderately narcissistic, clever, courageous, fearful of rejection, and lonely. In doing so, Shrek is easily relatable to many. In the very first scene of the first act, Shrek’s parents send off a seven year old Shrek to live by himself while repeatedly telling him that
Open Document