Good vs Evil in the Epic of Beowulf

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In the epic poem Beowulf, there is an obvious distinction between good and evil. The hero and his foes play roles that are commonly associated with Anglo-Saxon literature. The lines are clearly drawn and expressed in the poem. As the story moves, the reader cannot mistake the roles being played, based on the characterizations in the epic, one recognizes each character for their purpose and place.

The epic is named after the hero, Beowulf, who is a man “with gleaming armor.” (line 130) Because Beowulf is “the strongest of the Geats- greater than anyone in the world” he was called upon by his uncle Higlac, the king of the Geats, to save Herot from the wrath of Grendel, a terrible monster. (lines 110-111) With him he “carries... weapons... no commoner (carries).” (lines163-164) His characteristics are that of a superhuman, perfect, stronger than the rest. As the protagonist, Beowulf is a larger than life hero, who has traveled from his homeland to the Danish shores so that he may save the Danes from the torture and terror of Grendel. In the battles of the epic, for the most part he...
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