Essay on The Symbolism in Beowulf

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Beowulf is an interesting story in that it has a meaning that is firmly rooted in fantasy creatures based in mythical origins while providing insight into religious ideals and practices of the time. It also speaks of tradition and the struggle of man against things perceived as evil. In this tradition especially, Beowulf is an incredible allegory regarding the struggle of good and evil in the Christian tradition.
In order to consider this as such an allegory, we must define the scope of the struggle. That is to say, what is good and what is evil? In the Christian tradition, there is a fictional figure that creates all the evil in the world. Some people call this figure “Satan” however, that word derives from the Hebrew word meaning
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In terms of man’s thought faculties, man no longer needed God to dictate what was right and wrong. It is important to realize that, in the absolute strictest sense, God’s warning was a lie in that mankind did not die the same day and that the serpent did not lie when it indicated that Eve and Adam would not die. In all fairness, interpretation rather than literal acceptance of the passage can change the meaning of this story.
In Beowulf, the entirety of the story centers on either territorial or ownership disputes. The first half of the story deals with territorial issues and is the focus of this discussion. The story explicitly tells the reader that Grendel has control or domain over areas of land including the area where the mead-hall exists. As humans, we identify with the people scratching out a living in what is Grendel’s territory and see Grendel and his mother as evil for killing the villagers. Beowulf defeats Grendel and eventually Grendel’s mother in defense of the villagers. If we reevaluate the situation, Grendel may only be defending his territory from invaders. In this reimagining, Grendel is justified in his actions and the humans are “evil” invaders.
In this allegory, Grendel represents the serpent of Genesis. In the Genesis account, the serpent practically introduces Adam and Eve to the fruit. Although the channel of the

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