The theme of Beowulf

Essay by camokid4High School, 12th gradeA, April 2004

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The epic poem Beowulf was written by an unknown Anglo-Saxon author in the 8th century. The theme of the epic poem, Beowulf, was the conflict between good and evil. This is conflict is demonstrated in three ways, through the expression of the fear of the dark, the nature and purpose of heroism, and the statement of the Anglo-Saxon outlook and imagination.

A fear of the dark, or things that are un-Godly, is very present in the poem Beowulf. When things get frightening, there is a tendency to over exaggerate them in order to maintain a sense of dignity. The spawn of Cain conceived Grendel. This reference showed that the Anglo-Saxon's were God worshiping people who were well educated about the Bible. The story of Beowulf was not written down until it had been passed down for many generations. It is possible that out of fear people over exaggerated Grendel's countenance.

Grendel was immune to all sorts of weapons and could only be killed with strength. The Anglo-Saxon people we afraid of Grendel and the story made Grendel sound more hideous every time it was told.

Beowulf was a predestined hero. This nature and purpose of heroism is shown throughout the poem. A hero to the Anglo-Saxon people was one who did something unselfishly and for the good of others. Beowulf was a traveling "good guy". He traveled around the country fighting for the good of the people. Beowulf was the only one strong enough to overpower the grasp of Grendel. Beowulf was not fearful of Grendel. This gave Beowulf an advantage over all the rest who tried to conquer Grendel.

The Anglo-Saxon's were very imaginative people. The idea of creating a story where good conquers evil is not so imaginative but creating...