'Good vs. Evil' in Beowulf

1456 Words May 5th, 2005 6 Pages
"Good vs. Evil" in Beowulf

Beowulf is longest and greatest early Anglo-Saxon poem which was composed in England sometime in the eighth century AD by a literate scop. This poem was created in the oral poetic tradition. This poem is considered as an epic because it is a long narrative poem which composed in an elevated style, dealing with the glories of hero (Tolkien 24). The setting of this epic is the six century in Denmark and southern Sweden. The protagonist, Beowulf is a noble warrior represents the goodness battles against the evil monsters- Grendel, Grendel 's mother and the fiery dragon in order to save his country. Beowulf 's victory over Grendel and his mother shows the power of goodness can defeat the evil forces. Even though
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The dragon is the evil force like Grendel; it directs his wrath towards the dwelling of men (Halverson 103). Beowulf is "an agent of God" (Huppe 85), "a warrior brave and gentle, blameless in thought and deed" (Niles 89). His battle against the evil dragon is not merely for his glory and praise but rather for the people of his country. In scholar R. E. Kaske 's work, The Governing Theme of Beowulf.Beowulf: the Donaldson Translation Backgrounds and Sources Criticism, he mentions, "For one thing, the theme of Beowulf 's defending the Great nation certainly gains added significance from his not only facing death, but undergoing it bravely and willing for his people 's sake" (127). Beowulf remains loyal to God and his people as a model of heroic conduct (Magennis 120). He has the courage that he is willing to sacrifice himself in order to save his people 's lives. Even though Beowulf is old and his strength becomes weak, he still insists on fighting the dragon alone. However, his trusted sword, Naegling, is no use for fighting the monster. Seeing his king in trouble, Wiglaf, a young warrior goes to assist Beowulf. They finally kill the dragon, but Beowulf is also mortally

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