The story of Beowulf, written during Anglo-Saxon times, is a classic epic tale between good versus evil. It is a story that gives us insight into the values of the Anglo-Saxon people. The Anglo-Saxons glorified heroism and the conquering of evil. In the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, the character of Grendel symbolically represents evil through his setting and heritage, his hateful attitude toward men, and his vicious acts of murder.
Grendel's heritage and setting are two things that attribute to Grendel's evilness. In the story the author tells us that Grendel was a descendant of Cain(the son of Adam and Eve, who was cursed by God for killing his brother Abel). The poet writes, "Conceived…show more content… He is pure evil spawned from Hell.
In Beowulf, Grendel represents evil through his hateful attitude towards men. Grendel is tormented by the loud cheerful music that the Danes sing. The poet writes, "A powerful monster, living down in the darkness, growled in pain, impatient as day after day the music rang loud in that hall, the harps rejoicing"(lines 23-26). The poet suggests that the monster loathes the Danes for their loudness. Another reason for the monster's hatred toward men could be because he is jealous of the humans. Grendel knows that he can not be accepted in their group and be one of them. The monster uses this as an excuse to kill them, and he keeps the grudge against them no matter how many of the men he kills. The poet writes, "How the monster relished his savage war on the Danes, keeping the bloody feud alive, seeking no peace, offering no truce, accepting no settlement, no price in gold or land, and paying the living for one crime with another"(lines 89-94). The author shows us that Grendel will not forgive the Danes, even though the Danes didn't even know they were committing a crime against Grendel. Grendel's evilness is fueled by his hatred of men. The author writes, "Seeing how Grendel hunted when they slept. Distance was safety; the only survivors were those fled him. Hate had triumphed"(lines 78-80). He shows us how Grendel's hatred fueled his passionate lust for evil.