Good And Evil In Beowulf Essay

755 words - 3 pages

Good and Evil in Beowulf

     In Beowulf, the conflict between good and evil is the poem's main and
most important aspect. The poet makes it clear that good and evil do not
exist as only opposites, but that both qualities are present
in everyone. Beowulf represents the ability to do good, or to perform
acts selflessly and in help of others. Goodness is also showed
throughout this epic as having the ability to cleanse evil. Even though evil
is presented by Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon, who are
filled with a desire to act against people and ultimately destroy them.
Even pride, a human quality, is presented in Beowulf as a sign that evil
     Beowulf takes it upon himself to announce several great deeds that he will perform to help countries in need. One of these deeds is his offer to King
Hrothgar, in which he proposes to slay Grendel. Beowulf states,
"Single-handed I'll settle the strife!" In this statement,
Beowulf is simply stating that he will kill this evil creature,
Grendel. Another selfless act Beowulf states is that he will slay
Grendel's mother. Beowulf declares, "And I give you pledge, She
(Grendel's mother) shall not in safety escape to cover." Beowulf
promises to see to it that Grendel's mother will be killed. After Beowulf
becomes king in Geatland, he shows his great ability once more by
pledging to kill the fire-dragon. "The ring-prince scorned to
assault the dragon," the poet said. Beowulf is said to have pledged
to kill the dragon, which has caused a disturbance among his people.
These selfless acts offered by Beowulf display much of the goodness that
is present in Beowulf.
     Goodness is not only portrayed by selfless acts, but also by it's ability
to purge and cleanse evil. This is first shown after Beowulf slays
Grendel. The poet says, "(Beowulf) Had purged of evil the hall of
Hrothgar, and cleansed of crime; the heart of the hero." The good
done by Beowulf is shown to have the ability to cleanse Herot of evil.
Another example of good cleansing evil occurs after Beowulf had slayed
both Grendel and Grendel's mother, and is departing to fight his final
battle. The poet states, "Purged of evil the hall of Hrothgar and
crushed out Grendel's loathsome kin." By destroying both Grendel
and Grendel's mother, Beowulf has purified hall of Hrothgar of all evils.
Furthermore Beowulf announces that he will rid Herot of evil. Beowulf
says, "That I may...

Find Another Essay On Good and Evil in Beowulf

Good and Evil in Rappaccini and Chillingworth

985 words - 4 pages Various individuals in Hawthorne's novels seem to have a good and bad aspect of character. These people help show a deeper side of human nature; they show that everyone has some good and some bad. Even the 'bad guys' of the stories have some good in them. Chillingworth and Rappaccini in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter" and The Scarlet Letter reveal good and evil qualities of character.Throughout the Novel, Chillingworth's

Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

1418 words - 6 pages Good and Evil in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein "Frankenstein" was written by Mary Shelley. She was born in 1797 and died in 1851. Her parents were also progressive writers, and their work would have influenced Shelley's work. "Frankenstein" is written in the gothic horror genre. The idea of Frankenstein actually came to Mary Shelley in a half waking nightmare. She herself said, "When I placed my head on the pillow

Good and Evil in Robert Frost's Poetry

534 words - 2 pages simple to the thoroughly convoluted. But Robert Frost’s theory, published in the early 1900s, remains one of the most compelling. In his poem Design, Frost illustrates the contrast between evil the good in nature, and offers his own commentary as to who is truly in control. In the first stanza, the speaker portrays contrasting forces of good and evil within nature to argue that the spider is in control. In the first line, “I found a dimpled

Christian Beliefs in Good and Evil

3664 words - 15 pages Christian Beliefs in Good and Evil Religious Education A.) Describe what Christians may believe about the power of good and the power of evil B.) Explain how Christians may be influenced by these beliefs C.) ‘If God really loved humanity we would never have to suffer.’ Do you agree? A.) Describe what Christians may believe about the power of good and the power of evil The

Good and Evil in Billy Budd

1189 words - 5 pages Good and evil exist in all things. In Herman Melville's novel Billy Budd, good is represented by Billy Budd and evil, by John Claggart.  Together, they embody Melville's portrayal of opposing forces that run throughout all aspects of human experience.  In addition, Melville provides for the possibility of a balance between good and evil through the character of Captain Vere.  In Freudian terminology, I might view Claggart as

The Good and Evil in People

957 words - 4 pages good. In today's society places things in either two categories: good or evil. Unfortunately, society cannot fully grasp that people need exclusion from such categories. Murakami creatively constructs societies’ categorical process through Katagiri’s materialization of Frog and Worm. Despite the fact that Frog defeats Worm, Frog cannot survive without worm like people cannot survive without their best and worse qualities. Murakami's “Super-Frog

Good and Evil in Toni Morrison

2071 words - 8 pages blameless victim and joins the community in the shunning of Sula. When Sula gets sick, the comes to visit her not as a friend, but as what any respectable woman would do for the sick, all the while thinking herself as good and Sula as bad. When Nel visits Eva in the nursing home, she does it again as what a respectable woman would do for the elderly. She expects to feel gratitude and love from Eva, but is instead lumped with Sula as being

Good And Evil

1310 words - 5 pages or a bad society is so far fetched that to humanity the only way of reaching such a place is through the after life or the end of the world as humanity knows it. Thus good and evil are eternal counterparts and a society in which one solely exists is very difficult to find on this earth, if this is true then can the existence of God truly be conformed. So can good really exist with out evil and vise versa.The existence of evil in the world is

Good, Evil, and Conscience

1737 words - 7 pages derived. In English, "good" and "evil" are simply names given to the symbolic extremes of this mindless confusion. These emotions, both having qualities primitive and civilized, are the ultimate concepts that so balance the dark scale of human thought, and are the basis by which all of our actions are judged (for if there were no judgment, there would be no need to probe further into the concept of human emotion).In concept, humans, in search to

Good And Evil

690 words - 3 pages Good, as well as evil is a strong, existing force inside us all. An Indian chief of the Pawnee tribe once said, "All things in the world are two.In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly.... We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us

Good and Evil

815 words - 4 pages . As many would see the good in this particular novel to be Ralph, and the evil to be Jack, there is another perspective. Each and every boy on that island has moments of savagry, and then moments of regret. They understand what is morally right, but on occasion, listen to the demon in their head that tells them to disobey their concience. Jack is the prime representative that someone of the most evil intentions still knows whats right and wrong

Similar Essays

Good Vs Evil In Beowulf Essay

1579 words - 6 pages In Beowulf, the clash between good and evil is the poem's main and most significant focal point. Although the epic poem Beowulf utilizes many characteristics of Christian themes, the violence in the poem relates to paganism. By exploring the characteristics of “good vs. evil” such as Cain, Grendel and Beowulf, this paper will explore the elements of Beowulf in such a light. The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, was originally told orally then later

Good Vs. Evil In "Beowulf" Essay

960 words - 4 pages In the epic poem Beowulf, the struggle between good and evil reveals its omnipresence in even the oldest of tales. The many allusions and symbols throughout the story relate to Christianity and other Pagan beliefs. By looking at them, it becomes apparent that the author of Beowulf believed that the constant war between good and evil is not only fought by the common man but also in the ranks of their highest esteemed rulers and warriors, and even

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

1597 words - 6 pages . 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

This Is An Analytical Essay On Beowulf And The Role Of Evil Versus Good. It Talks About How Evil Is Needed To Define The Good Guy.

1269 words - 5 pages slaughter, mangle and murder, yet show no remorse.They are the enemy; they are the evil. There is an important connection between the enemy andthe hero, without this connection the hero is never defined. The evil enemy has essentialcharacteristics which lead to Beowulf as a hero. Not only do the Dane, Geat and readers see himas a hero, but most crucially he see's himself as a hero. I will argue the necessity of having anenemy, in comprehension of evil