Beowulf Symbolism Essay

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The Anglo-Saxon society was constructed upon fixed values and morals on which the behavior of individuals was based and judged. This society had a strong sense of community and treasured fame and success as a passageway to immortality. By fighting with Grendel, his mother, and the Dragon not only assured the survival of the Danes, but by doing so Beowulf legitimized his god-like qualities through his heroic deeds. Each of the monsters Beowful faced beared a level of symbolism, in which Grendel represents evil, The reader sees the values of the Anglo-Saxon society embodied by the brave, fearless and exemplary soldier called Beowulf. This character is brought upon conflicts and challenged by inhuman creatures that threaten his existence and the perseverance of his culture. Throughout the epic poem, Beowulf battles three monsters. The adversaries and their conflictsare an allusion to the war against the fall of the Anglo-Saxon society, their values and morals The first beast he encounters is one described sinisterly as a dark, lurking devilish creature that hates humans and their qualities; and feasts on human flesh, terrorizing the Mead Hall of the Danes. This creature of the night is confronted by Beowulf in a graphic battle on which the herofights with courage as his only weapon. With little struggle, the protagonist rises as a victor in a symbolic fight against the disintegration of his society. Grendel and his quarrel with Beowulf represent the first corruptions against the values the epic hero represents. The cause of this conflict is the survival of a society, a great cause for a battle, but as the poem progresses, this is no more. The subsequent menace to the Anglo-Saxon existence is Grendel's mother, who found reprisal after his son's violent death. She is by far a more challenging and threatening than her offspring, with darker qualities and

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