Is revenge an excuse to commit murder? Some people might think it is. In the epic poem Beowulf, the anonymous author believes this. Beowulf was written between the 8th and 10th century and the transcripts were kept in a monastery. The transcripts were there until King Henry VIII desolved all monasteries, and then the writings of Beowulf were used to wrap butchered meat. When Beowulf battles Grendel, fights Grendel s Mom, and brawls with the dragon the author seems to believe that revenge is an excuse for murder. In every confrontation revenge is involved.
The struggle between Beowulf and Grendel is the first example of revenge in the book. Grendel is frustrated because he is not allowed to interact with people. Grendel becomes so enraged that he goes on murderous rampages. After Grendel kills all those men, Hrothgar is furious and wants revenge. More slender grew my strength of dear warriors; death took them off...should the mood so take you, some tale of victory. (p66, 486-490) Hrothgar tells Beowulf about all the lives Grendel has taken and then hopes for a victory. Hrothgar wants this evil monster to be diminished more than anyone. After Grendel s arm is taken off by Beowulf, the monster flees home and dies in front of his mother. Now his mother is full of rage and wants to get even. But his mother now purposed to set out at last - savage in her grief - on that wrath-bearing visit of vengeance for her son. (p91, 1277-79) Grendel s mom is clearly set out on getting revenge for her son s death. Even though her son was killed for a good reason, she stills wants to avenge his death. One of the greatest soldiers is killed by the Mother of Grendel. The author finds revenge a valid excuse to commit murder.
The last and final battle is driven by revenge on both sides. A slave goes into the lair of the dragon and steals a golden goblet. This awakes the angry dragon. The dragon then comes to the village and breathes fire on it. Beowulf then wants to kill...
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