Beowulf

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Beowulf

Since the dawn of time, the forces of evil have always tried to gain an upper hand over the forces of good. The battles between these two forces have transcended time in both different forms and in different places. Every culture since the birth of man has background stories of creation and the battles that are waged between the two forces of light and dark. Leaving in the aftermath, stories and legends that are passed down from generation to generation through the vast cultures and civilizations. Beginning with the use of oral traditions that took these stories and the use of spoken word to both inform and entertain the people of a given society. These tales also had another purpose, which was to remind the people of the evils that were around them. Lurking in the shadows, waiting to claim another victim in the war of good and evil. Such stories fed on the fears of the people and the uncertainty of the world around them. Although the stories themselves may differ considerably from region to region, the basic underlying theme has always been identical. With the coming into being of written word, these stories could now be put down for people to read and serve as a reminder of their folklore. Not only to them, but to future people who come to read these documents. We have been lucky in the fact that over the last few hundred years, we have recovered many works from all over the world, dating back through years that had been long forgotten to many of us. In a great many of these works we have come into contact with many tales of heroism and the fight between good and evil. Just as the heroism in these stories may take on different faces, so does the evil present itself in many different guises.
This brings us to one work in specific, Beowulf, one of the earliest Old English poems that we have today. It is the embodiment of the struggle between good and evil. The poem begins with the funeral of Scyld, the mythical founder of the Danish Royal House. One of his descendants builds a great hall called Heorot, and it is here that the people gather to rejoice and sing the praises of G-d. This singing angers a vile fiend named Grendel, that inhabits the nearby bog. The poet describes Grendel in this way:

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