Beowulf Vs Grendel Essay, Research Paper
Since the dawn of time, the forces of evil have always tried to gain an upper hand over the forces of good. The battles between these two forces have transcended time in both different forms and in different places. A hero is believed to be a figure renowned for exceptional nobility, courage, and fortitude. He shows fairness to all he comes across, including his enemies. The villain, the force of evil, is characterized as malicious and does things in which are morally wrong. Beowulf was an ideal hero who fights for his people and vanquishes evil with his extraordinary abilities to bring peace and justice, but gets caught up in the moment. Grendel was an alienated individual who just wants to be a part of something, but was not thought of as an equal more of as an animal in this poem.
Beowulf was the hero, present to defend the realm of God, and to vanquish the evil, but showed more of an evil motive in dealing with Grendel. He came to Herot as the savior to men for he may purge all evil from this hall (line 261). Beowulf was eager in gaining the people s respect and restoring peace to the community. He requested to journey to Herot at a time of crisis to fend off it s evil. He seeks fame and notoriety by slaying the demoniacal monster Grendel, which terrorizes the hall that Hrothgar built. He showed traits of an oppressor when Grendel tried to flee but nothing could take his talons and himself from that tight hard grip (line 328). Beowulf saw the signs of weakness, nurtures off Grendel s suffering, and was happy to inflict it. He should have let Grendel go who was already in a state of shock because Beowulf was beating the life out of him. He was thoroughly ecstatic that he had torn Grendel s arm off from his shoulder, which he had hung up as a trophy on the rafters. Beowulf failed to see Grendel for what he is, which is just a creature trying to survive. Humans are worse than animals they hunt for sport unlike animals that only hunt when they are hungry. Beowulf in setting out to do a good deed became the felon of the story whom wounded the weak and innocent.
Grendel is viewed as the antagonist and the evil villain. Grendel is a descendent of Cain and is forced to live with the inherited curse of being denied God s presence. Cain s lineage has been known to spawn monsters, trolls, giants, and other undesirable beings, all of which were rejected from society. Beowulf tells of Grendel s spontaneous attacks on the meadhall where he would kill and devour sleeping thanes until his thirst for blood was quenched. This description of Grendel shows his nature as an animal simply responding to starvation. The night of his last human supper (line 311) he encountered a ferocious man that nowhere on earth had he met whose hands were harder (line 325). Beowulf took hold of the abomination with his mighty hand, grasping the monster so tightly that he could not get free. Bewildered, and frightened, Grendel flooded with fear (line 329) tried to free himself from the death grip of Beowulf, but his attempts were in vain. Beowulf had no intention of letting the monster leave that night with his life. The two forces, good and evil clashed in a tempestuous battle, one that destroyed the inner contents of the great hall. Grendel feverishly tried escaping from Beowulf, but to no avail. Beowulf s grip on the wretched pestilence was both tight and true. When the battle reached an end, Grendel defeated and mortally wounded, retreated to his murky lair which was to be tomb. In Grendel, the monster that was only dining is severely injured by the warrior, Beowulf, and then retreats to his mere to die.
Grendel was viewed as the embodiment of the fear of the dark, and the mysteries that the night holds. What lurks inside the shadows, behind corners, in the forest when the sun retreats and the minions of Hell come out into the moonlit night. How once the light of day is swallowed by twilight, blanketing everything with a cloak of darkness. Grendel who started out as the scoundrel turned out to be the victim who was merely trying to satisfy one of the laws of life eating. Beowulf traveled to Herot to with a good purpose to free the people of an evil that was terrorizing them and to bring peace. He turns into an evil, power driven murderous machine when he seeks revenge for his fallen man that he became worse than Grendel. He killed not for a reasonable purpose but a trait that is commonly associated with evil revenge. Therefore, in the end the roles of the characters are switched and Beowulf became the guilty person for butchering an innocent creature.