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"Beowulf" By Raffel, Burton: "Good Is Superior To Evil"

1597 words - 6 pages

It has once been said, "Good is all that serves life, and evil is all that serves death. Good is reverence for life...and all that enhances life. Evil is all that stifles life, narrows it down, and cuts it to pieces" (Emily Coombs). This statement is true in every piece of writing or shows where there is a dispute among good and evil. Good versus evil is a theme that is very eye catching for a reader and it is the most common theme in literature. Wherever there is good, one will always find evil because without evil the good cannot be classified as good. And a similar trend to the argument with good versus evil is the fact that good always conquers evil. In Beowulf, the clash between good and evil is portrayed through Grendel, Grendel's mother, the Dragon, and Beowulf; moreover, in the end, we come to realize that good is always virtuous of evil.Upon hearing the misfortune of the Danes, Beowulf, a man with a history of bravery, comes for the rescue of the Danes from the hands of the evil Grendel. Beowulf portrays the image of a very strong and confident warrior who fights without weapons and has no fear. The only weapon Beowulf carries is his faith in God. On the night of the feast Beowulf hears about the monstrous Grendel and where he lives: "Not hell but hell on earth. He was spawned in that slime/Of Cain, murderous creatures banished/ By God, punished forever for the crime/ Of Abel's death" (Burton Raffel, lines 101-108). Beowulf shows no fear for Grendel; therefore, giving Hrothgar and the Danes hope that their misery will end. Beowulf assures the Danes that he will win the battle with Grendel, he states: "When we crossed the sea, my comrades/ And I, I already knew that all/ My purpose was this: to win the good will/ Of your people or die in battle, pressed/ In Grendel's fierce grip. Let me live in greatness/ And courage, or here in this hall welcome/ My death" (Burton Raffel, lines 632-638). Beowulf has the chance to prove himself and act upon his promises when Grendel returns. Beowulf watches Grendel "snatch a him apart, cut his body to bits with powerful jaws, drink his blood from his veins and bolt him down hands and feet..." (Burton Raffel, lines 739-743). Seeing this, Beowulf loses his hope for victory because he is introduced to the uncanny appearance of Grendel. Putting aside his fear, Beowulf manages to snap Grendel's arm off by gripping onto his arm when he reaches to slay him. This portrays his bravery and almighty power. He put all his strength into putting Grendel in pain; therefore, he accomplished his goal. Grendel's actions towards the Geats proves the saying that states, "Evil is all that stifles life, narrows it down, and cuts it to pieces," and Beowulf's victory coincides with the fact that "Good is all that serves life" (Emily Coombs). Overall, Beowulf's conquering of Grendel once again proves the everlasting statement that good will always conquer evil. Grendel's suffering reveals Beowulf's loyalty to the Danes...

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