Beowulf And The Line Between Good And Evil Essay

1329 Words Apr 20th, 2016 6 Pages
“I’ve learned a lot about good and evil and they are not always what they appear to be” (Doren 1).Often in life, the line between good and evil can be easily blurred and the difference between man and monster can be uncertain. Anonymously written, the epic poem of Beowulf expresses many examples of drawing parallels between man and beast, more specifically between heroes and villains. Although it is not unanimously agreed upon by scholars, Beowulf is believed to have been written in eighth century A.D in Britain (Acocella 1). Beowulf was thought to be read as a ballad or as entertainment for guests. Because it is an epic poem, Beowulf is full of heroes, villains, battles, and mystical beings. At first glance, it may seem as this ballad has a clear line between man and monster, but upon further inspection, that is less then accurate. Through linguistics and character traits, the similarity between good and evil in Beowulf is exposed.
One of the main antagonists of Beowulf is Grendel, a monstrous descendant of Cain. Biblically, because of his sins, Cain was cursed by God and became an outcast of society, along with all of his ancestors (New International Version, Gen 4. 16). Because of this, Grendel lives in a cave away from all civilization and hates joy and happiness. Grendel is also cursed with monstrous strength and looks. Upon hearing the joyous laughing and festivities in the land of the Danes, Grendel is taken over with hate and bitterness. He begins to wreak havoc…

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