Good vs Evil in the Epic of Beowulf Essay examples

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In the epic poem Beowulf, there is an obvious distinction between good and evil. The hero and his foes play roles that are commonly associated with Anglo-Saxon literature. The lines are clearly drawn and expressed in the poem. As the story moves, the reader cannot mistake the roles being played, based on the characterizations in the epic, one recognizes each character for their purpose and place. The epic is named after the hero, Beowulf, who is a man “with gleaming armor.” (line 130) Because Beowulf is “the strongest of the Geats- greater than anyone in the world” he was called upon by his uncle Higlac, the king of the Geats, to save Herot from the wrath of Grendel, a terrible monster. (lines 110-111) With him he “carries... …show more content…
Eventually, at a ripe old age, Beowulf finally suffers the wrath of the dragon. He epitomizes the values of a warrior society which include bravery, loyalty, and prowess in battle. As a “bloodthirsty fiend,” Grendel was the first of the foes Beowulf battles. (line 407) He is “a powerful monster,” who “was spawned in... slime.” (lines 1, 19) He is a descendant of Cain, and chose to sacrifice the Danes to no one but himself. Grendel is “set on murder.”(49-50) Nothing can “quench his thirst for evil. (lines 52-53) Grendel stalked Herot and set his wrath loose on all who came to the hall. His mother, the “she-wolf” lived in an underwater cavern. (line 572) She is the “water witch,” one that no one’s “sword could slice her evil skin.” (lines 493, 496-497) Both characters are demons living only to hate, and cause terror in the hearts of those who know of them. The third villain comes much later than the first two. The dragon is Beowulf’s last enemy, and last battle. The beast poured out fire and smoke, and was one who “coiled and uncoiled” at the sight of a human. (line 673) The dragon menaces Beowulf’s kingdom and as an old man he is forced to fight the beast. The antagonists are evil and uncaring of human life, each choosing to end it when they please. They are bad and it shows. One night as Grendel decides to pay a visit to Herot

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