Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Beowulf vs grendel Essays - Beowulf, English-language Films, Geats
Beowulf vs. Grendel The epic poem, Beowulf, is infused with the forces of darkness and the forces of light, heaven and hell. These forces symbolize the forces of good and evil, between two of the main characters, Beowulf, and his rival, Grendel. Grendel's watery lair is dark, and he only hunts at night? darkness. The heroic warriors halls were they rejoice is illuminated? light. These two examples are just one of the many differences portrayed in the epic. Along with differences, there are also similarities. For example, during Beowulf?s and Grendel?s fight scene, the characters appear to be the reincarnation of ancient Mithraic twins, Cautes and Cautopates, who represent life and death. Grendel and Beowulf are completely different beings, when one detail brings out a comparable change in the other. Grendel is a descendant of Cain and a man-eater who is feared by the Danes. Living with his mother at the bottom of a foul lake, which hence his name, ?grenja? meaning ?to bellow,? or ?bottom of a body of water.? Grendel comes out at night, leaving his watery den in search for food. His prey, drunken warriors who slumber in Hrothgar?s golden halls, slaughtering them as they sleep, and then dragging their bloody corpse back to his lair for a feast of his own. Legendary warrior from Geatland and Edgetho?s son, Beowulf, is human, but seems super-human, having the strength of thirty men. Beowulf is also a monster in some ways, but not in the sense as Grendel. Beowulf arrives at King Hrothgar?s kingdom with thirteen of his warriors, to assist King Hrothgar with Grendel, with King Hrothgar accepting Beowulfs pledge to kill Grendel. Beowulf plans to rest at King Hrothgar?s castle, and wait for Grendels arrival. Later that night, Grendel comes to the castle, devours some of the men, and then confronted by Beowulf. Grendel is immune to human weapons, so Beowulf confronts Grendel with his bare hands, and with his super-human strength, rips off Grendel?s arm. Grendel?s death and his evil nature are directly connected with darkness. The connection between evil and darkness are repetitive throughout the text, and is strongest with the physical description of Grendel?s den, where his dead corpse rests. As hell receives Grendel?s body, a sense of peace and relief is present. Beowulf?s primal desire for blood and violence and his tales of his killings do no differ much from Grendel?s bloody night massacres at Herot. Beowulf and Grendel neither need weapons to fight, Grendel being immune to man-made weapons, bewitched blades, and can not be wounded by them, but Beowulf, human, defeats Grendel without the aid of man-made weapons. This elevates Beowulf above the human standards, revealing more monstrous qualities. Beowulf and Grendel not only contradict each other, but they also compliment each other. They both symbolize heaven and hell, light and dark, life and death with each characteristic they each hold. Both characters take on ?non-human? attributes, Grendel being a monstrous being and Beowulf having superhuman abilities.
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