Beowulf: The True Monster

1563 Words7 Pages
Beowulf is often lionized as a courageous soul, a fearless leader, and an epic hero. He jumps into battle against monsters and creatures without a worry or fear of death and annihilation. His belief in providence makes him brave, but simultaneously irrational and dumb. Readers of Beowulf usually look only at his positive characteristics such as his legacy, strength, perseverance, pride, and alignment with the heroic code. Readers also question whether or not Beowulf is a true epic hero or just an idiot leader. I argue that Beowulf is neither. I argue that Beowulf is not a man or hero, but actually the true monster of the self-titled epic poem. When readers think of monsters in Beowulf they think of Grendel and Grendel’s mother. But what about Beowulf? Before delving into the argument of how Beowulf is the true monster of this epic poem, I will need to define what a monster is. A monster is often defined as a thing that is usually larger than average in size, aesthetically atypical, and or something that acts wickedly. I would have to agree with the last definition because one can look monstrous and not technically act or live similar to that of a monster. I personally define a monster as a being, whether human, animal or something of another shape, that acts immorally, fiendish, and or vile. My idea of what a monster is isn’t defined by its looks or aesthetics because looks are subjective. My idea of a monster is defined by its intentions and its actions. Questions to reflect over when considering whether or not something is a monster would include, what does the monster do and can what it does be considered good or evil? Grendel, the first creature in the epic, was a beast driven mad by jealousy and envy. Grendel, described as a brute and a powerful demon, was “condemned as an outcast” and exiled for being a descendent of Cain (9). On top of having to deal
Open Document