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Present in this poem are certain forms of evil. The greatest of these is the descendent of Cain’s evil against his brother Abel. After Cain killed Abel God punished him by exiling him from the kingdom of God. From Cain’s soul came evil monsters, one in particular, Grendel. He was a demon; a fiend who haunted the moors, the wild marshes and made his home in “hell” (actually earth). King Hrothgar finished a great mead hall for his warriors to relax and reside in when away from war. Grendel, amused by the sound of drunkenness coming from the hall, kills all who reside there. This punishment and evil went on for twelve years. The people turned to the worship of pagan Gods, hoping they would take the demon back to the pits from whence it derived.
After the failure of paganism Hrothgar searched for warriors that could defeat the beast. A decorated warrior, Beowulf, sailed from the land of the Geats to help. This shows how God works in mysterious ways. Grendel keeps on attacking the great mead hall but refuses to go after the king’s throne. God protected the throne. This is saying that God will defeat any evil that stands in his path. An example that God controls life and death is the line “God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip”. Death is not the last part of life. The mead hall’s gargantuan size symbolizes the people’s desire to be closer to God. It’s reason for construction, so the people could reach the heavens.
Throughout the poem good clashes with evil. One example would be Grendel taking over the Mead hall. In this instance the mead hall would symbolize safeness and good harmony. One major important clash was when the townspeople gave up on Christianity and went back to paganism to get rid of the monster.
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