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Beowulf Essay

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2010 05:29 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.9 
  • Words: 1492
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Johanna Gauss
CITY school

The story of Beowulf and his monsters is a long and complicated record of
terror, blood, glory, and death. The setting draws us to a place and time that's foreign to this generations understanding. It was a time when Anglo-Saxon tribes fought one another, when death and change was inevitable, and when the only thing that mattered was how or where you died. This race of warriors must also have their hero, someone who will represent all that is right and good in the society (loyalty, generosity, and strength), and who can rid that society of evil and threatening monsters. In Beowulf the evil monsters and descendents of Cain are represented by Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon. The monsters in Beowulf are both similar and different; their differences contribute to the overall effect and understanding of the poem by showing readers how all three monsters express their anger and hostility, how all three monsters symbolize something, and how all three monsters have similar aspects with themselves and with Beowulf.

Since all three monsters described in Beowulf are descendants of Cain, they all have the characteristics of the devil; anger and hostility.   They are evil creatures, therefore they think evil things. However, all three monsters show their anger and hostility in different ways. For example, Grendel’s nature is ambiguous. Though Grendel has many animal attributes and a grotesque, monstrous appearance, he seems to be guided by human emotions and impulses. The poet points out that Grendel is “[m]alignant by nature” and that he has “never show[n] remorse” (137). Grendel has known nothing but killing, maiming, tormenting, and feeding his whole life; and so, when a rush of emotions begins to envelope him on countless occasions, it toys with his mind in a rather unwelcomed way. Grendel is merely a monster who acts on impulsive desires.   For example, the hate and rage that Grendel feels for the...


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