Good and Evil in Beowulf

1032 words 5 pages
The story of Beowulf was probably composed in England sometime in the Eighth Century AD, and written down circa 1000 AD, by a literate scop (bard) or perhaps a Christian scribe who was possibly educated in a monastery. The poem was created in oral tradition and was transferred to writing over time. It had its roots in folk tales and traditional stories until some very talented poet put it in something very near to its current form. The poem was more than likely performed for audiences at court or on the road as the scop found audiences to support him. It was sung or chanted rather than recited it, and usually to the accompaniment of a harp. There was a constant struggle between good and evil in the story. Beowulf, God, and Wiglaf …show more content…

The struggle between God and Satan had existed throughout time. Beowulf was all that was good, moral, and ethical. He lived by the rules of God. Grendel denounced those rules to live by his own. Thinking only of that which gave him pleasure, he attempted to destroy everything good and kind. Truly, Beowulf was like a parent and Grendel was like a child whom he chastised. Beowulf displayed a variety of things that the Anglo-Saxon people valued; many of those traits were expressed through the main character, Beowulf. In him, was seen the qualities of courage, loyalty and a thirst for fame. The character and story also had one running theme throughout, the age-old subject of good versus evil. Beowulf was the epic hero of this poem. He embodied all the characteristics that a hero should, such as bravery, loyalty and strength, both physical and mental. He was the archetypal hero. He fought for good and represented it as well. Beowulf signified good, but there was a contrasting evil to complete the balance. The monster Grendel and his mother were that evil. The mere look of them left the impression of fear and sin. "He strode quickly across the inlaid floor, snarling and fierce: His eyes gleamed in darkness, burned with a gruesome Light." Their wickedness seemed to spread to their home, infecting the lake in which they lived. "A deer, hunted through the woods by packs of hounds, a stag with great horns,


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