Although the story of the warrior Beowulf is riddled with evil monsters, the true evil lies just beneath the surface. Before discussing the evil within Beowulf, what is “good” should be clarified. Beowulf is the main character of the poem. Through the story he fights off the monsters plaguing his and Hrothgar’s people. He is the embodiment of what is thought to be good.
Grendel is the man-killing monster that Beowulf portrayed him as being, yet he is also the lonely victim of a judgmental world. Grendel is a descendent of Cain and is forced to live with the inherited curse of being denied God’s presence. Cain’s lineage has been known to spawn monsters, trolls, giants, and other undesirable beings, all of which were rejected from society. Beowulf and Grendel both speak of Grendel’s ancestor Cain, almost as if using it as an excuse for his rash and murderous actions. Beowulf told of a Grendel that mercilessly attacked Hrothgar’s meadhall killing men without reason.
With each stop on Marlow’s journey, the reader experiences greater and greater evils(Lipka 29). Kurtz’s staked heads and his position as God to the natives are the greatest evils of all (Lindley 190). Marlow also mentions different devils throughout the book—“His mental world is populated by demons: ‘the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire’, not to mention ‘the gnawing devils of hunger’ and the ‘flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil’ who presides over the colonial enterprise” (Lindley 184). The devil is all around in Heart of Darkness. Both authors use the biblical devil as a means to portray the devil
“Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in a hell…” (28) Grendel also killed all of Hrothgar's people in Herot Hall and eventually took control of it. Although, the humans and Beowulf may have done some immoral things they were acting in self-defense and attempting to regain control of the situation. Also, Beowulf displays more heroic qualities rather than the qualities of a monster. The role of compassion is also evident in the epic as well. It is clear that Beowulf is a good fighter, however, he is also morally good.
It was his ability to control men through fear and adoration that led Marlow to signify this. Throughout the story Conrad builds an unhealthy darkness. At every turn he sees evil lurking within the land. Every image is dreary and dark. The deadly Congo snakes to link itself with the sea and all other rivers of darkness and light.
Men like Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein have been garnered with the term ‘evil’ for their atrocities against fellow humans. Now it seems evil has a solely human significance; when a person violates the individual rights of others on a massive scale, he/she is evil. In Shakespeare’s time – the Elizabethan era – evil had a similar, but somewhat altered connotation in the human mind. Evil was an entity that violated the English Christian monarchial tradition. Therefore, a man such as Claudius, from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, a cold-blooded murderer and a ruthless manipulator, who uses “rank” deeds to usurp the thrown is in direct violation with the Elizabethan societal norms, and hence he is an evil character.
. (67-68) In "Macbeth as the Imitation of an Action" Francis Fergusson states the place of darkness in the action of the pla... ... middle of paper ... ...are: The Tragedies. A Collectiion of Critical Essays. Alfred Harbage, ed. Englewwod Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964.
The poem is structured so that both the opening and end of the poem strike the confronting truth of the slums, such as “Nightfall comes like a dreaded disease seeping through pores” and “he barks like a rabid dog...thirsty for my blood”. The middle section the poem establishes the dangerous and brutal experiences through comments such as, “I am the victim” and “marauding beast let loose… from his cage of
No matter what mode it takes though, the presence of evil in literature has always been influential in the plot and always has the same ending: death. One of the most distinct and obvious forms of evil in literature is physical evil and this takes the forms of many things from the Grim Reaper to monsters. The latter of the two is what we see in the Anglo-Saxon heroic story, Beowulf. In this story we see not just one physical evil, but three: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. All of these creatures were described in their own terms, yet all of their nicknames show that they are pure evil.
Beowulf : The differences Wyatt meirs 3rd block The oldest epic poem of the Anglo-Saxon period is the tale of good and evil. The crusade of heaven and hell, the bloody war that waged between our hero Beowulf and the infamous Grendel and his mother. But there seem to be two sides to this heroic and yet tragic story of these troubled and arrogant souls. In the epic poem Grendel, was a fiery and evil soul, he was said to be a direct descendant of Cain, Cain was responsible for the first murder in biblical times. Grendel was a ravaging beast.