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The Biblical reference in the epic has become a modern day archetypal motif, and serves to give the listener an idea of the extent of Grendel’s pure evil and gives a logical explanation for Grendel’s murderous behavior.This example, not only shows the evil in Grendel’s nature, but also the torture in his heart caused by his Banishment from God.Beowulf has many other such archetypal, symbolic themes and motifs, but the most important themes that serve to add depth to the characters are the wealth, honor, religious, man, and wildness themes.
Grendel’s wilderness is countered in mankind’s ways, especially Beowulf’s.
Beowulf is tame and civilized, the epitomy of goodness and purity.
It serves to give the reader an idea of why Grendel would kill the Danes for no reason other than their happiness.
Beowulf also has a religious motif to his character.
Defeating Grendel, he shows that man, without armor and weapons, can defeat evil in any form including that of his foe Grendel.
This deed serves throughout the epic serves as a symbol of Beowulf’s Goodness.Another Biblical reference in Beowulf is shown in the tower of Herot which is very similar to the tower of Babel in the fact that it’s built as a sign of superiority and accomplishment.Like Babel, though, Herot only serves as a symbol of downfall more than one of glory because it causes many deaths and the coming of Grendel. Biblical themes and motifs, character is also shown through a certain Man vs. This motif shows the difference between mankind’s ways good, and evil’s wild nature evil.Throughout the epic, the Anglo-Saxon story teller uses many elements to build a certain depth to the characters.Just a few of the important character elements in Beowulf are Wealth & Honor, Biblical & Paganistic, and Man vs. Many of the characters in Beowulf are, like in most epics, defined by their status."Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" was a 1936 lecture given by J. It was first published as a paper in that year in the Proceedings of the British Academy, and has since been reprinted in many collections. Tolkien on literary criticism on the Old English heroic epic poem Beowulf.Beowulf doesn’t fight evil in a wild manner, rather, as shown in his first battle with Grendel.First off, Beowulf is pure and shows this before his battle when he removes his armor and vows not to use a weapon to defeat Grendel.Hrothgar, king of the Danes, is one example of the Anglo-Saxon measurement of importance in Beowulf.In Canto 1 the story teller describes his wealth and importance, not as mounds of gold or jewels, but instead as his ability to “ the Danes to such glory.” and as his tendency to “In battle, the common pasture untouched, and taking no lives.” Through this display of compassion for the commoner who doesn’t fight in battles, Hrothgar proves the full extent of his honor and therefore the extent of his wealth and status.