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Custom 'Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics' Essay

Many centuries have passed since Beowulf was written; however, its motives remain topical even now. The contrast between Beowulf, the protagonist, and Grendel, one of the depicted monsters, symbolizes one of the most eternal topics – the contradistinction and the eternal struggle between good and evil.

Grendel hates people; his aim is to destroy beauty, to make everyone around him suffer, to devastate the lives of those who live in joy and happiness. The monster lives in the eternal darkness. All these features characterize him as a symbol of the Devil. Tolkien (2008) states that, despite the resemblance, no confusion arises in comparing Grendel’s and Devil’s places of location. Grendel is an earthly creature – he lives among people. The descendant of Cain, the world’s first murderer, the monster is from flesh and blood. However, the presence of darkness as the main feature of his being, as well as the integral characteristic of the Hell, proves Grendel to be a symbol of evil in human nature.

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As stated in the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (2008), “allegory is a story or a visual image with a second distinct meaning partially hidden behind its literal or visible meaning”. In Beowulf the visual image is the plot itself with a few Christian elements, which are related to the Old Testament.

According to the text of the poem, Grendel is the descendant of Cain. Moreover, there are a few mentions about the Hell: the word ‘helle’ is often used in the text. The grateful attitude of folks towards the Creator may symbolize the Christian motives regarding God as well. Hrothgar becomes a powerful ruler only with the help of Lord’s protection, and his palace is the image of God’s world. Although there is no direct reference to God, the belief and presence of the divine components is obvious.

Code: Sample20

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