Symbolism And Symbolism In The Epic Of Beowulf

1001 Words5 Pages
Maliea Faison
Symbolism: Found Even in Monsters
Glory for one’s King, Glory for one’s ancestors, Glory for one’s tribe, Glory for one’s self. These are the noble qualities only certain epic knights condone. Throughout the oldest surviving epic poem, Beowulf an Anglo-Saxon piece of literature, the courageous warrior Beowulf, hero of the Geats, embodies these heroic characteristics as the defender gallantly volunteers to aid King Hrothgar defeating not one or two, but three heinous creatures with honor. In a different perception, each behemoth Beowulf conquers symbolizes more than just a facing a ghastly creature. Beowulf, morally durable and audacious, first secures the Danes against a satanic being named Grendel. The battle between hero and fiend is an utter
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Beowulf’s next opponent is Grendel 's mother, a hellion of the same species yet far worst in nature. Beowulf bravely battles Grendel’s mother in the depth of a lake in which Beowulf similar defeats Grendel’s mother as he did Grendel by beheading her instead with a special sword. This bloodshed between Grendel’s mother and Beowulf represents vengeance. The author of Beowulf describes Grendel’s mother as, “...grief-racked and ravenous, desperate for revenge” (1278). Instead of Beowulf fighting pure evil, he is simply in war with revenge. Grendel’s mother is just mourning the death of her brute of a son when she decides to kill the one who took her son. She symbolizes revenge as it is the only thing that is fueling her lust to kill. Throughout the poem, Beowulf at one point explains how revenge is the best answer rather than choosing to grieve, but in this case, Grendel’s mother is too corrupted to cause revenge and Beowulf knows he must put down the beast at once. The last beast Beowulf goes against is the dark dragon. Mid-duel, Beowulf realizes his sword does not work on the scaly serpent, just as it had failed him in the battle

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