Beowulf And Monster


Beowulf And Monster Essay, Research Paper

Beowulf is the epic story of a young hero who battles the monster Grendel and

his mother. Beowulf, a prince of the Geats, the son of Ecgtheow who voyages to

Heorot, the hall of Hrothgar, king of the Geats and the great grandson of the

hero . There at Heorot, Beowulf destroys the monster Grendal, who for twelve

years has haunted the hall by night and slain all he found therein. When

Grendal?s mother, in revenge, makes an attack on the hall, Beowulf seeks her

out and kills her in her home beneath the waters. There are many different

events in this story. First, there is the pagan warrior system. In this system,

the relationship between the lord and his men, known as the thanes, is very

important. It is the responsibility of the thanes to defend their king and their

lands and also to fight his wars whenever possible. The relationship between the

lord and the thanes is one of mutual trust and respect. The warrior vows his

loyalty to his lord and eventually becomes his companion. In return, the

king/lord is responsible for repaying these men for their favors and eventually

provide for their households. He offers them shelter, helmets, gold rings,

bracelets, swords, beer, mead, and a home. (Norton, 23.) In the warrior society,

there are two forms of retribution, quiet vengeance and the wergild or the

"man price" (Norton, 23.). A killer is responsible for paying for the

death of a warrior, by paying a member of his family: "Each rank of society

is evaluated at a definite price, which has to be paid to the dead man’s kinsmen

by the killer who wishes to avoid their vengeance – even if the killing has been

accidental." (Norton, 23.) There are also the ideas of fate and courage

portrayed throughout the story of Beowulf. The warriors believe that fate

controls their lives and their beings. Beowulf, the ultimate hero, shows this

trait throughout Grendel’s attack and also in his battle with Grendel’s mother

after her vengeful attack on the hall of Heorot. He even tells Unferth, the

boastful warrior, of his fate before defeating Grendel, when Beowulf says,

"Fate often saves an undoomed man when his courage is good." (Norton,

34.) After, Beowulf’s successful victory over Grendel, the warriors enjoy their

feast and then settle down for their night’s rest in the great hall Heorot. They

do not know that Grendel has a kin who will come that night to avenge his death.

Grendel’s mother then arrives and snatches the first person she sees and hurries

back to the mere. When it is discovered that the man, who happens to be

Hrothgar’s dearest advisor, Aeschere is dead, everyone is sorrowful. Once again,

all of Danes are now in sorrow for the death of Aeschere. Hrothgar mourns his

friend’s death, but Beowulf encourages him when he says to Hrothgar,

"Sorrow not, wise warrior. It is better for a man to avenge his friend than

much mourn." (Norton, 45.) Beowulf now attacks Grendel’s mother and gives

victory and freedom to the Danes over the monsters that have been plaguing them

for over twelve years. Hrothgar is described as a "hoary warrior".

(Norton, 45.) He is old, tired and cannot control his kingdom. His thanes can

boast, but cannot face the monsters that try to overthrow his kingdom. Not only

does Beowulf shows his courage and his fighting ability as a young warrior, but

in the end of the poem, at an old age, he again shows his courage by attacking

the dragon who eventually takes his life. At the time he is about to attack the

dragon, Beowulf says, "In my youth I engaged in many wars. Old guardian of

the people, I shall still seek battle, perform a deed of fame, if the evil-doer

will come to me out of the earth-hall." (Norton, 59.) Beowulf’s successor

is Wiglaf. Wiglaf is the young warrior who sticks by Beowulf’s side while he

fights with the dragon. Wiglaf is very similar to Beowulf in that he is also

courageous and is humble. He is very courageous and shows his courage when he

tries to help Beowulf attack the dragon.

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