Critical Review

Topics: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Grendel Pages: 2 (569 words) Published: February 16, 2013
Andrea Davis
AP English 11

Beowulf Essay

The story of Beowulf is an outstanding poem about religion strength, bravery, and heroes. Many great works of literature centers on the struggle between good and evil. Most of the poem revolves around the mighty hero Beowulf the terrible villain Grendel. Throughout the whole poem Beowulf shows strong religious views and constantly shows the values of the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf is the best example of a hero in the Anglo-Saxon society because he demonstrates strength in battle and loyalty to his people.

The Anglo Saxon Value of fairness is reflected on Beowulf. Beowulf asks Hrothgar the favor of fighting alone with Grendel with only the help of his men. Beowulf says “That with this one favor you should not refuse me- That I, alone and with the help of my men may purge all evil from this hall.” (lines 164-166) Beowulf also demonstrates fairness by choosing not to use weapons in his battle against Grendel. In this epic poem Grendel is an evil dragon, one of the offspring of Cain, One of the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain killed his brother Abel and became the first murderer. Cain was eternally cursed by god, and according to legend, fathered all evil beings that plague humankind. This is why Grendel is such a villain in this epic poem.

After several attacks by the winged beast, Beowulf decides to step in. He travels to Herot with the plan of defeating Grendel once and for all. During the battle against Grendel, Beowulf decides to show his strength and bravery by using no weapon to defeat Grendel. Beowulf is extremely determined. He has lost past battles. But he will not lose this one. “The monsters hatred rose higher, but his power had gone. He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder Snapped, muscle and bone split And broke. The battle was over.” (Lines 495-499) Beowulf, with just his bare hands, defeated Grendel by tearing his arm off. Grendel fled to the bottom of the marsh to...
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