God and Grendel

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Bei
Amber Shields

August 24, 2012

Period #1

Brit Lit

Beowulf Research Paper

Good Vs. Evil

Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem. The poem was written in England but it is set in the Scandinavian country. The time period is between the 5th and 6th centuries, but was written between the 8th and 11th centuries. Beowulf is noted to be the most famous of epic poems, especially in the Anglo-Saxon works of literature. All things in the world boil down to being either of the two, good or evil. In the story Beowulf good and evil are portrayed in a very black and white manner. There are two main characters representing both, one good and one evil. The good character being Beowulf and the bad character being Grendel. Their reputations, the manner in which they use their strengths and their surroundings define the good and evil characters alike. 

A lot of times your reputation will say more about you than you ever could. In this story the characters reputations made them who they were. Beowulf, as well as the other good characters were of somewhat honorable backgrounds. This virtuous nature also came with a sense of strength, as the book describes Beowulf, “The strongest of the Geats-greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world.” On the flip side of the coin Grendel was pure evil. The book illustrates this when it describes Grendel’s origin. “He was spawned in that slime, conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain.” Grendel’s hatred was passed on from his parents. This fact makes his hatred, in a sense, almost inherited or genetic. 

Grendel, along with his evil followers, used their strengths for evil. He killed many people from the city, which he was once banished from. Grendel was very powerful but he was also of weak character, choosing to kill his enemies when they were sleeping, for ultimately, no real reason. King Hrothgar chose to use his riches to make the lives of those around him rich. The time before...
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