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Theme Of Good And Evil In Beowulf

Decent Essays
The universal theme of good versus evil is portrayed in Beowulf, through the locations of the major battles. Beowulf, the epic hero, combats Grendel and Grendel’s mother in Heorot Hall and the under-water cave, respectively. The settings behind these fatal conflicts serve to reinforce the Christian and Germanic notions of good and evil. The Christian perspective is overtly demonstrated through references to the Lord and to Cain, while the Germanic perspective is evident through the speech and actions of characters. Through both religious and cultural lenses, the settings behind Beowulf’s heroism are better understood. The differences in the symbolism behind Heorot Hall and the cave reinforce the overarching conflict between good and evil in Beowulf.
Heorot Hall epitomizes goodness in Beowulf through references to both military achievements of Hrothgar and the generosity and power of the Christian God. The creation of this mead-hall stemmed from King Hrothgar’s strength, selflessness, and courage in war. As a result, this hall represents the values that the Germanic society defines as good. Besides the traits possessed by warriors, the Danes also place importance on a close-knit society. As such, Heorot Hall is of significance because it centralizes the Danes as a community. This is evident during the celebration after Grendel’s defeat, where “clan-chiefs flocking from far and near” (Lines 839 – 840) ascend onto Heorot Hall. Furthermore, this mead-hall represents goodness in
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