Good and Evil and Beowulf Essay

Submitted By anabney1208
Words: 533
Pages: 3

Beowulf: the Concept of Good and Evil Although it was written thousands of years ago, the famous epic, Beowulf, still remains one of the most turned to hero tails in the world. It is known to be the oldest form of English literature and possibly one of the most important. The protagonist, Beowulf, is the immortally human hero. Beowulf is a mighty Geat warrior who’s courage is looked to globally. The tails of Beowulf have been passed down from generation to generation for at least a millennium. Beowulf’s story has been manipulated into modern stories: Superman, Spiderman, ect. Though the epic Beowulf is imbued with lessons on life, one of the most apparent is the confrontation between good and evil. First, the good. Good and evil do not exist as only opposites, but that both qualities are present in everyone. Beowulf represents the ability to do good; to perform acts selflessly for the sake of others. Goodness is also shown throughout this epic as having the ability to cleanse evil. Beowulf takes it upon himself to announce several great deeds that he will perform to help countries in need. One of these deeds is his offer to King Hrothgar, in which he proposes to slay Grendel. Beowulf states, "Single-handed I'll settle the strife!"( ). Another selfless act Beowulf embarks on his slaying of Grendel's mother. Beowulf declares, "And I give you pledge, She (Grendel's mother) shall not in safety escape to cover." ( ). Goodness is not only portrayed by selfless acts, but also by it's 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." The good done by Beowulf is shown to have the ability to cleanse Herot of evil. Beowulf, obviously representing good, has to triumph over evil, the three monsters.
Even pride, a human quality, is presented in Beowulf as a sign that evil exists. Unferth, Hrothgar’s right hand man, criticizes Beowulf’s superiority as a soldier. It is later told that just…