The Epic Of Beowulf Essay

1619 words - 6 pages

Beowulf is an epic poem that explores many themes and motifs within the Anglo-Saxon society. The Author, who remains anonymous, composed the epic around 1000 A.D. The literature focuses mainly on a Scandinavian warrior named Beowulf, who comes to the aid of Herot, a small town ran by King Hrothgar. Beowulf arises to rid the town of evil forces, such as the demon monster Grendel, and his savage mother who seeks revenge for the death of her son. As he ages, Beowulf presumes his title as king of Geatland, still eager to protect his loyal followers from danger. Though he is viewed as a godly force, the situations and the behaviors that Beowulf expressed, sometimes deviate how the Anglo-Saxons viewed his character. From this, the theme of "Good vs. Evil", which can be easily depicted in the literature piece, was constantly contradicted throughout the entire poem.
"That night, Beowulf and his men stay inside Herot. While his men sleep, Beowulf lies awake, eager to meet with Grendel" (Raffel Burton- 48). In the epic, Beowulf establishes himself as a highly profitable warrior, on a mission to serve and protect. Immediately, Beowulf is presumed to be a good force, taking on Grendel who is perceived to be a descendant of Cain, who personifies evil. A valiant warrior, Beowulf protests that he shall take on the monster, stripped of weapons and armor. When the evil monster Grendel attacked the people of Herot, Beowulf chose to fight Grendel and diminish the evil that he represents. While he and his men sleep, Grendel arrives to wreak havoc on the mead-hall.
"He burst open Herot's heavy iron-bound doors with the touch of his hand. He rushes in, grabs one of the sleeping Geats; he eats him greedily, gulping down the blood, and he then grabs Beowulf" (Anonymous- Beowulf 27). This vicious battle between good and evil perfectly displays Beowulf's heroism under a new light. His immaculate strength was tested by Grendel, but against all odds, he was victorious. The author states, "The monster's hatred rose higher, but his powers had gone. He twisted in pain, and bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke. The battle was now over" (Raffel Burton- 51). With the wrath of Grendel behind them, all of the Danes celebrated Beowulf in all of his glory.
In the wake of Grendel's death, his mother arises from her watery trench to avenge the death of her son. She comes seeking the blood of the man who ended his life. After hearing of her rampage in the hall, Beowulf prepares for battle. For several hours Beowulf continued to sink down into her watery layer, protected by his armour. His opponent waited for him in her underwater cave, ready to have his blood on her hands. As they heavily proceeded in battle, Beowulf attempted to use his sword, Hrunting, for defense. To his dismay, the sword was completely useless in his attack. "It was then that he saw in her gear a blade blessed with victory, an ancient sword of more than human make,...

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