13, September 2012
The vices society deals with today are not all that different from the vices they delt with in the past. In fact, the first known sin in literature can agreeably be found in the Bible. It was Cain’s jealousy and anger that caused him to take the life of his brother Abel. Approximately 4000-5000 years later in the first known work of written English, the Beowulf-poet demonstrates the seven deadly sins through the title character’s battles with the three monsters. Obesity and sloth-modes vices. The seven deadly sins are ; envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, and wrath. Although Beowulf can be read as a mere tale about an epic hero who defends the ancient world from monsters and dragons when read on allegorical level it could be argues that Beowulf’s battles with the ancient foes represents a persons struggles against the sins of wrath, greed, and envy.
At the beginning of the poem a monster called Grendel is angered by the merry sounds emanating from the Herot and becomes provoked to the point of leaving the marsh, where he lives, and attacking the Danes in their mead hall. His onslaught against Denmark continues for twelve winters until Beowulf sails from Geatland and kills the deadly beast. Reacting to the death of her son, Grendel’s mother emerges from her underwater lair and kills one of Hrothgar’s best friends. Before this emergence, the female monster had been spotted only in occasion, walking in the marshes with her son Grendel. Beowulf hangs around and kills her too, ridding Denmark of all its evil monsters that have terrorized the Danes for twelve winters. Having accomplished these heroic deeds, Beowulf returns to Geatland, where he rules as a king for fifty-years. All goes well in his kingdom until, toward the end of his reign, a dragon begins menacing Geatland. Beowulf defeats the mighty dragon, but loses his life in the process. In the poem Grendel could represent wrath. Grendel is under the wrath of God, for the sin his father Cain committed. His father murdered his own brother Abel, which caused him and his son to suffer the wrath of God. God banished them from seeing other people by cursing them and making them look like hideous monsters that everyone would neglect for the way they look, and people would be scared to be around Grendel because he looked scary. The Danes feared Grendel. Grendel was very angered for what God did to him.
Grendel’s mother represents envy after her son is killed by Beowulf. She is outraged after the death of her son, and she plans on getting revenge on the poor weak Danes. She is so outraged that she goes off and kills one of Hrothgar’s best friends in Denmark. She represents envy because she is so outraged about the death of her son Grendel, and she holds a grudge against the Danes and Beowulf. After killing Hrothgar’s best friend, Beowulf sticks around for awhile longer and goes to the evil monsters underwater lair and fights a epic battle, and wins, and brings back Grendel’s mothers head, so heavy four men had to carry it with their spears.
The dragon in the Beowulf-poem is representing the sin greed. The dragon terrorizes Geatland during Beowulf’s fifty-year reign of Geatland. This doesn’t make Beowulf happy, so he sets out to kill the mighty dragon that has been causing so much trouble. He finds this mighty foe in a tower like cave and enters and see’s all the treasure’s that the dragon keeps there just to not be used or ever be touched by men, that’s how the dragon commits the sin of greed by keeping all the treasure to himself. Beowulf kills the dragon and gains all the rich’s that the dragon has been hiding to himself, but he also loses his own life in his last epic battle. Beowulf’s men built a tower and buried Beowulf in it with all his gold from killing the dragon, and they used the tower as a beacon for men at sea, a tower that no man will ever forget.
These vices are similar with some of the things that happen today in life. Some of these vices are also very different though. There are many sins that people commit today, even though society is better now ah days, it still doesn’t make the people better and doesn’t make them make better decisions on what they do. All these sins are found in the Bible, and you can easily look them up, so you are not to commit a bad sin, even though everyone eventually does in life, even if it really isn’t that bad.