Beowulf Dichotomy: Light and Dark

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Glothelia Mijena
English 12
Beowul Final Essay
Light and Dark
Light and Dark. Also known as good and bad, but how do they relate to the Epic Hero? Beowulf is a poem about this hero that travels from place to place to fight off evil monsters. An Epic Hero must undertake a quest to achieve something o tremendous value to himself and his society. Therefore, an Epic Hero must go through challenging trials that will bring him either into the light or into dark.

When Beowulf finished all his trials, lights started to burn all around him. In his second trial when he slays Grendel’s mom he was described as “A brilliant Light burned all around him, the lake Itself like a fiery flame.”(Page 70) Light burned all around him because he has successfully completed his second trial and the light was to represent his glory, but it was not his last. On his last trial, he kills the dragon and dies along with it, but he has completed all his trials, which means that his life has come to its end. By completing all his trials makes Beowulf an Epic Hero. He then tells his people, the Geats, “When the unreal flames have burned me, and build it here, at the water’s edge high.” Beowulf tells his people this because he wants the light from his funeral fire light show that he is a true Hero. This also shows that he is a God-like figure because he wants the light from the fire that was burning his body show what a true Hero is.

Beowulf has defeated his first trial, which was to kill Grendel. That night when he defeated Grendel it says “to his lair, delighted with his night’s slaughter,” (Page 27) means that Beowulf is rejoicing his victory for killing Grendel. Grendel was not the only monster Beowulf has killed because he has travelled to many places and seen many other creatures of darkness and he wishes to continue killing monsters. It says, “Have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood.” (Page 36) This quote is saying that Beowulf has...
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