Beowulf Good vs. Evil

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Beowulf Good vs. Evil The epic poem Beowulf is one of the oldest existing pieces of English literature, which can be dated back to 700 A.D. One of the main themes of Beowulf is the struggle or battle between good and evil. This is a theme, along with other themes in the poem, that is still used today in literature, which is remarkable as the story has been around for so long. In the poem, ‘good’ is clearly represented by the Geat warrior Beowulf. On the other hand, ‘evil’ mainly refers to the monsters that Beowulf had fought, including Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the fire dragon. There are many biblical references as well. Having similar themes of good versus evil, there are many connections the author makes. In Beowulf, the side that is meant to represent good is mainly Beowulf but also includes the important characters that were on his side, such as Hrothgar, and Wiglaf. By defeating Grendel, he shows that man, without armor and weapons, can defeat evil in any form including that of his enemy Grendel. Beowulf claims he is ‘as dangerous any day as Grendel” (577). In the biblical sense, this may represent how Jesus could heal anything with merely his hands. This is meant to show that Beowulf represents ‘good’. Beowulf also shows he represents goodness by volunteering to fight evil; protect his people, and doing it selflessly. These selfless acts offered by Beowulf display much of the goodness that is present in Beowulf. Goodness is also portrayed by its ability to purge and cleanse evil. This is first shown after Beowulf slays Grendel. The poet says, "(Beowulf) had purged of evil the hall of Hrothgar, and cleansed of crime; the heart of the hero." (865). The good done by Beowulf is shown to have the ability to cleanse Heorot of evil again which is portrayed by the poet. Hrothgar can also be seen as a symbol of good in this epic poem. He is a

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