Good Vs Evil In Beowulf

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The story of good vs. evil is one that dates back to the beginning of time itself. In the epic Beowulf this is no different; the forces of good and evil are in constant conflict with each other. Beowulf, the good hero, is “praised over and over again” for his glorious and continued victories over the forces of evil (Heaney: Celebration at Heorot: 131). On the other hand, the evil characters, such as Grendel and Grendel’s mother, are not only “malignant by nature”, but also constantly terrorize the citizens near them, defiantly rebelling against the forces of good. (Heaney: Heorot Is Attacked :131). Grendel is a demon, the descendant of the cursed Cain from Biblical times, is seen as the embodiment of evil, and none but Beowulf can overpower…show more content…
Grendel himself is a “fiend out of hell”, doomed to walk his entire life to work “evil in the world” (Heaney: Heorot Is Attacked: 114). He is an outcast of society who takes pleasure in makes people’s lives miserable, emphasizing his evil nature from birth. Grendel’s mother, another evil character spurred on by vengeance, is described as a “tarn-hag” with “savage talons” and a “brutal grip”, emphasizing her malicious nature (Heaney: Beowulf Fights Grendel’s Mother: 147). The dragon is provoked when Beowulf steals a cup from its treasure hoard, but the dragon’s fiery breath and blazing rage parallels the white-hot heat of hellfire, the ultimate source of evil. While the protagonist Beowulf provokes many of these evil characters, it is important to note that they all respond in rage and hatred, thus emphasizing their wicked…show more content…
This man, knowing that he is close to death, brews up a caldron of lies to put himself in a good light before his untimely death. This is a man that supplies “false testimony with [great] delight”, and has won a great many law cases because of his evil deeds (Boccaccio: Day 1 Story 1: 610). The author uses stories like this to slight the Catholic Church of this time, and he also criticizes the canonization process of saints. The friar in this story is played like a fool, one who often responds to the “sins” of Ciappelletto as “a trifle”, all the while not realizing that he is being tricked into believing these white lies as true (Boccaccio: Day 1 Story 1: 615). While this story makes fun of the Catholic religion and its practices, it also teaches the valuable lesson to never trust a stranger, and to always research people thoroughly before declaring them
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