The Relationship Between Good and Evil in Beowulf

Topics: Grendel's mother, Grendel, Beowulf Pages: 3 (1079 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Who Is The Hero?
Throughout Beowulf I have been intrigued by the theme of good and evil and their relationship. Primarily how there are a number of different ways to think of the relationship between the two. I think that in Beowulf there are many interesting ways that evil and good are portrayed. For the most part Beowulf represents good/ heroes and then there are three main representations of evil that Beowulf faces. One thing I realized about the relationship between the two is that you could not have one without the other. For example, the reason that Beowulf becomes so well known and famous is because he defeats an evil demon (Grendel). A hero is someone who possesses a vast amount of courage and someone who is known for overcoming a certain obstacle(s). An evil figure is often the obstacle that the hero must over come; it is someone or something that is often thought of as immortal and feared by the public. Without Grendel or any short of evil figure, Beowulf would not have made a name for himself. When it comes down to it; evil is what makes someone a hero.

In this story, the idea of evil is presented through the three monsters and the action of killing, the idea of good is represented threw Beowulf and comitatus. Universally, pretty much all folk tales, stories, and epics that involve good and evil are about the two battling it out. It is a way of enhancing the story, no one wants to hear a story about a hero achieving a goal easily, the idea of a challenge and struggle is what really interests people. In Beowulf it is more that Beowulf is defending the people from the evil. It is not a pleasant scene when Grendel comes storming into the mead hall; he starts attacking everyone and everything, killing many in the process. Beowulf makes a boast that he will defeat Grendel in battle, but it also seems he just defends the peace of the community at hand, “So times were pleasant for the people there until finally one, a fiend out of hell, began to work...
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