“Beowulf”: An Analysis of Story

The Prentice Hall Literature’s The British Tradition is a volume that chronicles the various timeless themes and classics that have been a part and parcel of the journey of British literature. Used as a textbook, it has a number of stories that help the learner understand the nuances attached with the journey that has been charted by this genre.

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One such story in the volume is titled Beowulf. This story deals with the eccentricities of a character named Grendel. As a story, Beowulf has been recreated as a book that portrays its famous characters and their lives. In this story, the plot revolves around a warrior named Grendel and his mother. These main characters help the reader see the dark and terrifying side of a culture.

This essay seeks to connect elements of a culture with the images of evil that live and rule within it. In general, the law of fear is the law of evil for most cultures around the world. On the basis of this premise, the story that has been examined will demonstrate how a character can live up to such a principle through his or her presentation and the symbols that come to attached with evil thereafter in the society where such a character thrives.

To begin with, Grendel’s appearance is one that evokes fear. While the concept of “knight in shining armor” is meant to transport a reader to a land of romanticism and adventurous escapades, the word ‘shining’ has been used to depict the fear-evoking factor that plays up in the mind of a person who has laid eyes on Grendel. Shining has been used to depict his terrible weapons and the glint of a smile that leaves no room for imagination as to what havoc the man before them can wreck. Grendel himself is a giant of a man, with the bearing of a devil incarnate. He shows that by dressing in dark clothes, the evil side of a person shows.

Grendel’s behavior is depicted as evil in general with his rude remarks and overbearing manner. Further, his basic instinct or answer to any situation is to say something to evoke fear in the person he is addressing. He marches and roars, and sends people rushing to hide once he steps into the streets. In this way, the pattern of fear has been shown as evil when used to portray ‘strength’. People in various cultures associate fear with evil and this is the case with Grendel.

Grendel’s motive in life is to keep people in fear. According to the author, this may come from some deep wellspring of revenge and oppression in his heart. Further, his main motivation comes from his mother who only serves to add fuel to fire. She believes that everyone around them is evil and she asks her son to lead his life on this belief.

Grendel has been portrayed as a character capable of showing disdain and mistrust. His basic demeanor brings about images of darkness, thunder, and lightning, and crashing noises. These are the sounds and sights that make Grendel the horrible and thus make the society around him symbolize such details with evil.

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References

Corporate Author. Prentice Hall Literature, Copper Level (Prentice Hall Literature: the British Tradition) Prentice Hall Inc. 3rd Tchr edition.

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