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Beowulf and Grendel

Happiness and good are what the earth has known since the beginning of time. It was a time where a king and his men on a Danish island could celebrate the peace of their kingdom. A time where Hrothgars men lived happy in his hall (20. 15). But that time will change when a monster of evil conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain (20. 20-21) came about. A monster, by the name of Grendel, has come to triumph over this time of peace and God. Grendel who was to be exiled in hell, made his home in a hell not hell but earth (20. 18-19).

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He came to this kingdom of good to bring darkness and evil. Already to be punished by God, Grendel, unable to carry no solace (23. 100) killed the kings men while asleep. Never satisfied, Grendel kept coming back at night to quench his lust for evil (22. 52-53). If men were to walk around at night, he was invisibly following them… always there, unseen (22. 77-78). Grendel snacked on those foolish proud men. No man on this Danish island could match this evilness, not even King Hrothgar himself. This monster could not touch King Hrothgars glorious Throne though, because God protected it.

The God in which Grendel fears but has no heart to feel any emotions but hatred and greed. Far from this island of evilness and tyranny, a warrior of great strength and experience heard of the trouble of Hrothgar. This warrior, Beowulf, Higlacs follower and the strongest of the Geats (23. 109-110), has decided to sail to this Danish island and help the troubled. A rather great warrior, he also hopes help his fame become broader in the world with his victories. Along with bravest and best of the Geats (23. 121), they reached the island and hurried to speak with the king.

Beowulf, with conviction in his voice, told the king God must decide who will be given to deaths cold grip (28. 269-270). Of both pagan and Christian beliefs, Beowulf trusts that fate will unwind as it must (28. 284). As fate was on the Geats side, the evilness of the monster would be stopped at night. As the men lay asleep, except for Beowulf, Grendel showed up hungry, he snatched and gobbled up what was to be his last human supper (29. 311). Beowulf allowed Grendel to eat a few men, so that he could understand how his enemy moves. It was Beowulf that Grendel next had a hold of.

But with the great strength of Beowulf, it surprised Grendel because no man has ever had stronger hands than that shepherd of evil, guardian of crime (29, 325). So afraid, he tried to get away from Beowulf, but could not succeed. Desiring nothing but escape (29. 339), Grendel grew weaker and weaker. The Geats could not hurt him though, for the monster had bewitched all mens weapons, laid spells that blunted every mortal mans blade (31. 377-378). With God on Beowulfs side, Grendel was in pain, his shoulder snapped, bones breaking, and victory was almost a reality.

Grendel escaped though, but without the monsters arm, claw and shoulder and all (32. 409-410). Triumph over evil was now celebrated in the kingdom of Hrothgar. Celebrating the victory over Grendel, the triumph over evil was not yet finished. Grendels mother killed one of the kings closest friends. The frightened king tells Beowulf of the action, and Beowulf at once, advances to get revenge on the monster. Being led to an evil lake, Beowulf swims alone, down deep to find the lair of Grendel and his mother. Swimming for hours, searching, the mother saw Beowulf roaming in her wet world and welcomed him in her claws (36. 475).

When she let go of him, he was able to swing his sword at her, but the iron sang its fierce song, sang Beowulfs strength (37. 494-495). Angry, he gave up on that useless sword and fought with his hands. The monster was able to pin him down and draw a sword on him, but because of the grace of God, Beowulfs woven mail shirt, blunted the sword, and spared his life. With a new jolt of strength, he got up and started fighting again. Of a great miracle, Beowulf found a sword, blessed with magic, struck the neck of Grendels mother and cut it through. As the body lay lifeless, a brilliant light shone (38. 543), which lit from the sky.

Not yet content, Beowulf found Grendel, already dead, cut off his head and held it while he swam to land. The evilness of Grendel and his mother was now over by the victory of the great Beowulf. Good triumphing over evil is the major theme in this story. Beowulf was a good man because of his faith in God and the characteristics of paganism. He showed that in times of trouble, to have faith in yourself gives you the strength to go on, and triumph any obstacles. Like in all stories with evil in it, good always prevails. Happiness and good started off in this world, it will end in happiness and good triumphing over evil.

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