Good vs. Evil in "Beowulf" Essay

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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 in their dreaded nightmares where monsters lurk and wait for the death of man. Beowulf was written during the budding of Christianity in England, when it was newly forming. In the story there are obvious references to Christian rituals. The very opening page is an allusion to the Creation, also…show more content…
This Christian reference symbolizes that when Satan disrupts the lives of God’s people, the people call upon Jesus to save them and stop the madness. When Beowulf enters the kingdom of Hrothgar, the procession is similar to that of Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem. There is a great feast where they celebrate Beowulf’s already many triumphs. Before he leaves for Denmark though, Beowulf needs a crew and he chooses “the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and best of the Geats…” (120-121) as is the same when Jesus carefully chose his disciples. When Beowulf and Grendel finally fight in Herot, the battle is similar to that of Jesus and Satan’s exchange of words in the garden of Gethsemane. Satan has tempted many men, but has never come across one so stubborn in his beliefs. Satan is unable to move Jesus and this shows Jesus’ triumph over the ultimate evil. Grendel, when he comes to Herot that fateful night is expecting an easy meal, but instead is thrown in face to face with a man of incredible strength and fighting skill. “That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime, knew at once that nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands were harder…this was a different Herot than the hall he had emptied.”(433-439). The cave where Grendel and his mother live represents their heritage and direct association to Satan and evil. As descendants of

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