English Will, andagain and again defeated.” (Beowulf 24).
English 1216 September 1996The theme of Beowulf, the Anglo- Saxon, epic poem is that man shouldalways follow his fate and follow God’s word or he is bound to die inmisery and burn in Hell. This theme is often found in poetry of that time,and it exemplifies the mix of the pagan beliefs of the Angles, Saxons andJutes mixed with the Christian beliefs of the missionaries. The objectiveof this poem was to not only tell a beautiful tale but also to show thedistinct difference between good and evil.Grendel, the evil monster who comes to terrorize the good servants andfollowers of Hrothgar, the king of Denmark, is shown in every aspect asloathsome and abhorrent. He is spoken of as the descendant of Cain andtherefore caries not only his sins, but the sins of all the generationspast and is damned from his birth. If he does not have faith in God hecannot have a good life, and is “..
.forever opposing the Lord’s Will, andagain and again defeated.” (Beowulf 24). Grendel is also shown in anexaggerated manner to intensify the felling of hatred towards him in thereader, or in this case listener.On the other hand, Beowulf, the Geat who comes to defend Harot fromthe aforementioned monster, is presented in an almost God- like fashion.The author repeats time and time again about Beowulf’s conquests and hisglory.
He is the typical “good guy”, he is the bravest, he is the biggestand he is the strongest. Beowulf’s family has been known for good deeds forgenerations, and even his “…father was a famous soldier, known far andwide as the leader of men.
” (Beowulf 30). There is no mention anywhere inthe poem, of Beowulf ever doing anything bad, not even so much as making amistake. For all these reasons he is the hero and he kills Grendel.These two main characters are portrayed in black and white, to showthe power of God and fate. Grendel was against God and that is why he lostthe battle and lost his life in such pain.
Beowulf, as pure as he was, knewthat fate would take over and God would not let him die in shame. Thisapproach has been used by all people of all time, from the Greek myths tomodern forms of entertainment, such as cinema. It is a technique thatclearly explains to the reader the moral of the story or poem.Works CitedBeowulf “The English Tradition” Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs New Jersey,1989; 24-36.