Grendel is a horrid monster filled with evil and bloodthirsty rage; Grendel terrorizes the men of Heorot when he deems them as being too loud in the meadhall. He snatches them up with his bare hands and devours them. Grendel murders fathers and sons, brothers, and uncles. As far as anybody can see, he will never be stopped. They needed a true hero; the people needed Beowulf. Beowulf being the hero he is decided to accept the challenge of defeating this seemingly immortal villain. Grendel is not only an evil monster, he is the embodiment of evil itself. Grendel is a symbol for everything evil and bad in this world, he is a descendant of Cain, the man who committed the first murder and killed his brother, Grendel was literally described as a “...a fiend out of hell…” (100).
This is perhaps the first concrete example we have of the forces of good colliding with the forces of evil in Beowulf. We have a concrete hero character in Beowulf, and a concrete villain in Grendel. We see this as a theme throughout the epic poem. The dichotomy of good versus evil is the fundamental backbone of this piece of literature. It is so significant due to the fact that everything that happens in this book is someway related to good versus evil. If Beowulf wasn’t so good at heart, he would not even be enticed to leave hi...
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... and bravery; to conquer the forces of evil. Good and evil collide almost countless times during this epic. Beowulf defeats the embodiment of everything evil in the world: Grendel. He risks his life in order to fight grendel and save men who mean nothing to him. Beowulf does this to gain honor, respect, and to see to it himself that the forces of good rid the world of as much evil as possible.
Perhaps the abundance of dichotomy in Beowulf is what drove lots of modern day literature. Books such as “Heart of Darkness” (light versus dark) and even plays such as “As You Like It” (country versus city) use dichotomy as the driving factors behind them. Beowulf as an epic poem is the oldest dated piece of literature in the world. The whole book is based off of the dichotomy of good versus evil, and it evident in the text and effects the way literature is written every day.
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