The Optimum vs. the Wicked

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Antonia Matic
Mr. Harrold
CP English 12
8 October 2012
The Optimum versus The Wicked
In today’s society, one is faced with the pressures between good and evil. Everyone has their own struggles that they are faced with every day. For example, in the epic poem of Beowulf, Beowulf is torn between being the favorable hero or the villain. He chooses to be the better person. The warrior, Beowulf, fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. They are all villains of the epic poem. Beowulf fights these villains because they disturb the mead halls in the town. On the other hand, the Anglo-Saxons believed that only the good people are the ones that would get help from God when needed. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the universal theme of good versus evil is depicted through imagery, symbolism, and religious allusions.

To begin, Beowulf, the epic poem, has a universal theme of good versus evil which is depicted through imagery. Imagery is a picture a person can create in their mind. It can be seen in the entire poem of Beowulf. For example, Grendel, “Moved quickly through the cloudy night / Up from his swampland, sliding silently, / Toward that gold-shining hall” (ll.237-239). Grendel does not like the mead halls where the men gather to dance, drink, and have fun all together. Grendel walking toward the mead hall is an image anyone can create in their minds. Grendel is an evil monster that creates havoc in the gold-shining hall when he attacks. Beowulf, being the brave warrior that he is, fights Grendel to be the favorable hero that brings peace to the town once again. Next, imagery can be depicted through the battle scene between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother. Beowulf, “raised / His arms and seized her by the shoulder, anger / Doubled his strength, he threw her to the floor” (ll. 493-494). Grendel’s mother is angry because Beowulf had killed her son, so she decides to get revenge by fighting him. Beowulf goes on to fight her by going to her underwater lair. Imagery...
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