In “Beowulf,” there are many concepts of good and evil portrayed in the epic poem by an unknown author. Beowulf brings good to the Geats. The people would say he was a gift from the Gods to battle and demolish the evil. The monsters, however, cause trouble to the people and bring out the evil in everything. These elements of good and evil help define this an epic poem.
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.
In the poem Beowulf, there is a contrast between good and evil. This distinction is presented through the monsters Grendel and his mother, in parallel to the hero Beowulf. The themes of evil and monstrosity are therefore used in the story, as a way to create the notion of Grendel and his mother as monsters. Beowulf therefore appears as a character representing good. Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently.
Everyone always feels the need to “get even” at someone for a wrongdoing. Getting revenge is what all creatures do at some point in their life. Throughout the Epic Poem Beowulf, everyone has a motive and some of the creatures are out for revenge. In the Epic Poem Beowulf, the unknown author uses the Universal Theme of Revenge, to represent the motivation for the monsters.
Grendel Grendel was the monster that was killing all of Hrothgar’s men. Grendel was evil, smart, and stealthy making him dangerous. Beowulf stopped Grendel but not before he killed many of people. Grendel was a descendant of Cain who was punished for killing his brother Abel. Since Grendel was born from evil he could never be happy which angered him when he heard all the people in Herot having a good time.
In the epic Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf is depicted as a heroic figure who fights monsters and defends the weak. During its time, Beowulf would be considered a great hero, however in today 's standards Beowulf would only be considered a great warrior. That’s because a hero should value the lives of the people and not seek to be rewarded. Instead, Beowulf committed heroic acts for his own selfish reasons and never shows to values the lives of the people. From fighting Grendel to slaying the dragon, Beowulf only fought because he value the fame and fortune that comes along with those accomplishments.
In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, faces three “monsters” at different times in his life. The poem begins with Grendel, a monster who attacks only in the dark of night, tormenting the kingdom of Hrothgar. The last two sections of the epic detail the conquering by Beowulf of Grendel’s mother and the dragon. The battle between the monsters and Beowulf represent the theme of good versus evil in the poem, as well as the fusion of pagan and Christian ideals in the changing Germanic society. Grendel’s mother’s actions directly juxtapose the role of a woman in this time period, and the greediness of the dragon with his treasure contrasts with the virtues of what would be considered a good king.
Raffle says that the dragons “Skin, that Hrunting could not hurt her, was useless/ Now when he needed it. They wrestled, she ripped/ And tore and clawed at him, bit holes in his helmet/… He raised his arms and seized her by the, shoulder; anger/ Double his strength, he threw her to the floor”( Raffel ln. 600-614). His bravery can be used to help others.
Beowulf is a poem that based in the 10th and 11th century that revolved around the idea of good vs evil. The poem is named after Beowulf who is a supernatural hero that slays any evil that crosses his path but is a real sweetheart when it comes to other people or the king. Beowulf is to be considered an epic poem because the hero in the story creates acts of being courageous and even superhuman in some cases, reflecting timeless values such as courage and honor, and the poem reflects unforgettable values with honor and courage.
Beowulf takes on full responsibility for the dragon because of his courage, which makes him fearless. Without this courage, the dragon would continue to destroy the town and kill the people and evil would be victorious. However, since Beowulf is around to step up to the fight, the people are saved even at the sacrifice of his own
In Beowulf, Grendel the dragon is looked at in a very negative light, as an evil character. This is due to the strong descriptive words that the author uses, such as: “a powerful monster…in darkness…growled in pain” (pg.41 L. ). These words paint a clear picture of Grendel, and it supplies you a feeling for how evil the beast truly is. The epic states that Grendel was “spawned in that slime” (pg.41 L.), giving a very dark image of what he was conceived into. Grendel is a character of true evil.
Beowulf found out the dragon had been awakened by a thief, and that the dragon was roaming around Geatland harming people and destroying buildings including Beowulf’s home. “Then Beowulf was given bad news, a hard truth: his own home, the best buildings, had been burnt to a cinder, the throne-room of the Geats” (2324-2327). Beowulf did not want the dragon hurting any of his people so he took it upon himself as king to protect his people even if he knew that he would probably not make it out alive. Everything Beowulf did was for his people, “I give thanks that I behold this treasure here in front of me, that I have been allowed to leave my people” (2795-2797). By Beowulf getting this treasure and dying by killing the dragon is almost similar to how Jesus died on the cross to save everyone, Beowulf also saves his people.
Beowulf: Good Vs. Evil The balance of good and evil in Beowulf by Seamus Heaney is apparent in the characters Grendel, Grendel’s mother, Beowulf and Wiglaf. Grendel is a slayer and kills the Danes in Heorot Hall. Grendel’s mother comes for revenge of her son and in the process kills Hrothgar’s friend and adviser, Aeschere.
Beowulf knows that he will die in the battle with the dragon. Nevertheless, Beowulf voluntarily chooses to fight the dragon alone because he knows that he can kill it. He realizes the danger that presents itself with fighting the beast, and he does not want to subject his men to the ordeal. Beowulf enters the dragon’s den knowing that he will not return alive. Beowulf’s courage in entering the lair exemplifies the culmination of his perseverance.
The epic Beowulf is written in Old English by an unknown author, and it is considered to be the oldest surviving long poem in Old English. Beowulf is about a hero, named Beowulf, who comes to the rescue of the Danes when their mead-hall is being attacked by a monster. He then enters a series of three great battles that change his life. The last battle is the most significant battle that Beowulf faces because it shows how much he has grown as a man from his first battle. Without Beowulf’s final battle, the epic Beowulf would not have the valuable lesson that it is able to teach us today.