The Epic of Beowulf

1546 Words7 Pages
Beowulf is an epic poem that explores many themes and motifs within the Anglo-Saxon society. The Author, who remains anonymous, composed the epic around 1000 A.D. The literature focuses mainly on a Scandinavian warrior named Beowulf, who comes to the aid of Herot, a small town ran by King Hrothgar. Beowulf arises to rid the town of evil forces, such as the demon monster Grendel, and his savage mother who seeks revenge for the death of her son. As he ages, Beowulf presumes his title as king of Geatland, still eager to protect his loyal followers from danger. Though he is viewed as a godly force, the situations and the behaviors that Beowulf expressed, sometimes deviate how the Anglo-Saxons viewed his character. From this, the theme of "Good vs. Evil", which can be easily depicted in the literature piece, was constantly contradicted throughout the entire poem. "That night, Beowulf and his men stay inside Herot. While his men sleep, Beowulf lies awake, eager to meet with Grendel" (Raffel Burton- 48). In the epic, Beowulf establishes himself as a highly profitable warrior, on a mission to serve and protect. Immediately, Beowulf is presumed to be a good force, taking on Grendel who is perceived to be a descendant of Cain, who personifies evil. A valiant warrior, Beowulf protests that he shall take on the monster, stripped of weapons and armor. When the evil monster Grendel attacked the people of Herot, Beowulf chose to fight Grendel and diminish the evil that he represents. While he and his men sleep, Grendel arrives to wreak havoc on the mead-hall. "He burst open Herot's heavy iron-bound doors with the touch of his hand. He rushes in, grabs one of the sleeping Geats; he eats him greedily, gulping down the blood, and he then grab... ... middle of paper ... ...is never-ending love for his people never had to be configured. The influence that he had on the Anglo-Saxon society continues to spill over into mainstream society today. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten, as his impact will forever be remember in history. Works Cited Shmoop Editorial Team. (November 11, 2008). Good vs. Evil Quotes: Beowulf; Retrieved Dec. 07, 2009, from http://www.shmoop.com/beowulf/good-vs-evil-quotes.html Beowulf Translations by Burton Raffel (1963). Beowulf Fights Grendel; Retrieved Dec. 07, 2009 from http://www.beowulftranslations.net/raff.shtml Beowulf Translations by William Alfred (1963). Beowulf Fights Grendel’s Mother; Retrieved Dec. 07, 2009, from http://www.beowulftranslations.net/alfr.shtml Awards For Beowulf (1990-2009). Retrieved on December 10, 2009 from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/awards

More about The Epic of Beowulf

Open Document