Also, toward the end of the poem after he kills the dragon, Beowulf demands to have a barrow on the coast and name it after him. This way, there will be stories about Beowulf and his bravery. Even Tolkien himself expresses in his speech that this plot is not about heroism but “men on earth” (Monsters and the Critics). All men will die and their works will follow. Heroes do kind acts and earn their fame, not to desire fame and will do kind
Beowulf does not hesitate to think if he should go or not but just gathers his men and leaves. Beowulf gets to Denmark and sees this monster and kills him effortlessly proving that he is strong and courageous. Beowulf is the only person that can even stay alive for longer than a few moments while with the monster. Beowulf is so strong that the monster does not even believe it. “Beowulf perceived his evil plan, sat up and stayed Grendel’s outstretched arm.
Grendel feels no sorrow for the evil he has set upon the Danes: “but the very next night he committed / a greater murder, mourned not at all / for his feuds and sings—he was too fixed in them.” (135-137). Grendel’s, as the devil, only concern is that he tempts the people of Danes to shy away from their Christian religion in search of an answer to his demonic ways. Therefore, the condemnation of Grendel to a hellish life causes one to recognize the symbolic aspect of Grendel as not only sin, but the devil and all of his temptations. Along with the representation of the devil, Grendel takes on the face of temptation. The Bible speaks to the fact that the Lord will not let a believer be tempted past their own strength.
These values include their belief in boasting, revenge, and loyalty. Who wants to be forgotten after death? Clearly not the Anglo-Saxons who believed that all that remained of a person was his fame. This belief explains the outrageous boasting the characters within Beowulf do. When Beowulf arrives in the Danes' kingdom, he begins boasting as he is asking permission from King Hrothgar to fight the monster Grendel who has terrorized the Danes for "twelve winters," (l. 147, 27).
Due to his constant pride, Satan is courageous, a quality of an epic hero. Unfortunately, his main goal is to conquer all good things and to destroy anything representing God. Although Milton`s Satan appears to have certain heroic qualities like leadership, creativity and courage, especially in the first two books, his character evolves throughout the epic poem showing the readers that he is not a true hero. Milton's introduction of Satan shows the reader how significant Satan is to Paradise Lost. He uses Satan's heroic qualities to introduce his followers his ability to corrupt the good.
Hearing of the troubles that Hrothgar was having with a monster terrorizing Herot, his mead hall, Beowulf bravely offered his help not knowing what he was up against. When he arrived, Beowulf did not ask the king for either money nor fame. The only favor that he asked of Hrothgar was that he and his men were to fight the monster, Grendel. Coming away from one's homeland to help get rid of a man-eating monster and asking for nothing in return takes much courage and is an extremely brave deed. Next, Beowulf decides to fight Grendel with his bare hands.
Beowulf's fearless nature and love for battle make him a sought after idol in accords to the values of an Anglo-Saxon. "Nowhere, they said, north or south between the two seas or under the tall sky on the broad earth was there anyone better to raise a shield or rule a kingdom." The main character, and protagonist, Beowulf is first introduced in the novel by means of ancestral lineage. Born into greatness, Beowulf makes his reputation indisputable through action. With the King Hrothgar as witness, Beowulf declares his intentions to aid the Danes by way of slaying the awesome beast Grendel who has caused havoc among the lands.
When Beowulf arrives to Danish king, he is peacefully invited to the mighty mead hall. When there, Beowulf tells the king that he would like to fight the evil monster. The king, knowing that he has nothing to lose, lets Beowulf fight the monster. Is this guy begging for attention or what? What man in his right mind would go to another country to fight a vicious monster?
A decorated warrior, Beowulf, sailed from the land of the Geats to help. This shows how God works in mysterious ways. Grendel keeps on attacking the great mead hall but refuses to go after the king’s throne. God protected the throne. This is saying that God will defeat any evil that stands in his path.
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 his homeland and go help the danes.