Theme Of Grendel In Beowulf

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Secondly, the epic poem further connects Christianity to the Paganism through the allusions to Cain, the murderer of Abel. Grendel is the antithesis of man and Hrothgar’s sinister counterpart as king. It can be inferred that Grendel is the result of all of Hrothgar’s misgivings of conquest during his youth. Grendel is described as:
“A powerful demon, a prowler through the dark… a fiend out of hell…
Dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters,
Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed
And condemned as outcasts…
The Almighty made him anathema” (86-110).
The reference to Genesis in the Old Testament, specifically “Cain’s clan”, serves as the foundation in the belief that Grendel is the spawn of pure evil. Just as Cain was forced into exile, so is Grendel and both abhor the jubilation of man. Grendel is further described as a
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The passage bridges Pagan mythological beliefs with Christian biblical text. It is possible that the reference of the mythical creatures as evil creatures spawned from Cain’s evil is a maneuver that the narrator places in order to subvert paganism. Charles Moorman argues in his article, The Essentials Paganism of Beowulf, “Beowulf’s moderation and thanksgiving to God, the identification of Grendel with the race of Cain—may be they are essential, neither to its narrative nor even to its major theme…the Christian elements are peripheral” (Moorman 6). Although Moorman builds an exceptional argument, can also be said that the Pagan elements of the poem are peripheral. For example the characters act on Pagan tradition and following wyrd, and codes of honor; however, the characters action are secondary to the overall theme of the poem. Beowulf follows Nordic tradition however he attributes all his victories and conquests to God just as Hrothgar does. Beowulf says that the “Lord allowed” (967) his victory over Grendel. The narrator

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