Good and Evil in the Poem “Beowulf”

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The story of Beowulf represents the classic struggle between good and evil as seen in many modern stories. Heroes have always defended the righteous while villains were bent on destruction. Beowulf is a conquering hero who destroys monsters and giants for fame and glory rather than to protect the weak. Grendel, on the other hand, represents Satan as he tries to destroy everything good and kind. The characters of Beowulf and Grendel embody the struggle of good versus evil that has existed throughout literary history.

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Both heroes and villains have played their roles in defending and destroying, symbolizing conflicting qualities. This narrative reflects these attributes in the main protagonists. The conflict originated from a divine decision to grant Satan authority over the earth, leading to an ongoing battle that has been documented in literary works over time. Some of the heroes who confronted Satan aimed to safeguard the vulnerable, while others sought recognition and prestige. Beowulf, a triumphant hero, vanquished all the sea monsters and giants, not for the protection of the threatened individuals, but to attain fame and glory. He is driven by an insatiable craving for killing, constantly pursuing his next accomplishment as a means to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become a subject of admiration in songs sung by scops.

He desires global recognition as his sole purpose in life. The concept of the battle between good and evil in the tale of Beowulf has served as the fundamental inspiration for numerous contemporary narratives. Beowulf and Grendel epitomize the ultimate conflict between good and evil. Grendel endeavors to obliterate everything in his vicinity, while Beowulf perceives it as another triumph. It affords him the opportunity to perform another virtuous act that will generate widespread discussion. Beowulf symbolizes divinity, while Grendel embodies wickedness. The clash between God and Satan has persisted throughout history. Beowulf represents all that is upright, principled, and morally sound, adhering to God’s commandments, whereas Grendel rejects those precepts to live by his own.

Thinking solely about his own pleasures, he endeavors to annihilate all things virtuous and compassionate. Beowulf can be compared to a parent, while Grendel resembles a child whom he scolds. Tales across time have portrayed the characters of Beowulf and Grendel, symbolizing the timeless conflict of good versus evil. The hero in pursuit of fame and glory will always exist, just as there will always be a “monster” who, behaving like an oversized child, throws tantrums, demanding to have everything their way and obliterating any opposition encountered.

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Good and Evil in the Poem “Beowulf”. (2019, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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