Good and Evil in Beowulf Essay

Good and Evil in Beowulf Essay

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Good and Evil in Beowulf


     In Beowulf, the conflict between good and evil is the poem's main and
most important aspect. The poet makes it clear that good and evil do not
exist as only opposites, but that both qualities are present
in everyone. Beowulf represents the ability to do good, or to perform
acts selflessly and in help of others. Goodness is also showed
throughout this epic as having the ability to cleanse evil. Even though evil
is presented by Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon, who are
filled with a desire to act against people and ultimately destroy them.
Even pride, a human quality, is presented in Beowulf as a sign that evil
exists.
     
     Beowulf takes it upon himself to announce several great deeds that he will perform to help countries in need. One of these deeds is his offer to King
Hrothgar, in which he proposes to slay Grendel. Beowulf states,
"Single-handed I'll settle the strife!" In this statement,
Beowulf is simply stating that he will kill this evil creature,
Grendel. Another selfless act Beowulf states is that he will slay
Grendel's mother. Beowulf declares, "And I give you pledge, She
(Grendel's mother) shall not in safety escape to cover." Beowulf
promises to see to it that Grendel's mother will be killed. After Beowulf
becomes king in Geatland, he shows his great ability once more by
pledging to kill the fire-dragon. "The ring-prince scorned to
assault the dragon," the poet said. Beowulf is said to have pled...

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