Goodness is represented throughout the poem by the characters of Beowulf, King Hrothgar, Wiglaf, and their actions. Beowulf, portraying many good qualities, is the ultimate example of a hero. His acts of goodness are shown through his efforts to free King Hrothgar¹s hall from the wrath of Grendel, then of Grendel¹s mother and finally in his old age an evil dragon. King Hrothgar¹s love for his people and overall goodness is shown at the welcoming of Beowulf into his kingdom. Wiglaf was a Geat warrior and one of Beowulf¹s chosen band. Wiglaf is portrayed as good because of his decision to risk his life for Beowulf. When all of Beowulf¹s chosen band of Geats left him in his final battle with the dragon, Wiglaf was the only one that choose to stay and help his great King.
In contrast, the characters of Grendel, Grendel¹s mother, and the dragon, represent evil throughout the poem. Grendel is the main representation of evil in the epic poem. He is a man-eating monster who haunted the halls of Herot for twelve years. Grendel¹s mother attacks Herot out of grief for her son. Beowulf was called upon again to free Herot from the evilness of Grendel¹s mother. The dragon was up roared by a common thief who stole a cup from his fortune. He in return haunted Beowulf¹s people. Beowulf fought his last battle with the dragon.
The epic poem Beowulf encompasses all aspects of a great tale. Beowulf, King Hrothgar, and Wiglaf represent good in the poem whereas, Grendel, his mother, and the dragon portray the contrasting side of evil. Throughout the epic poem Beowulf one encounters many instances of good versus evil. [continues]
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